I had the amazing opportunity to work with an organization called Wish of a Lifetime. Wish of a Lifetime is a nonprofit organization that grants wishes to seniors in the community. Their mission to is shift the way society views and values our oldest generations. They envision a world in which society embraces aging and the inherent wisdom that accompanies it, where seniors are celebrated for their accomplishments and sacrifices, and where intergenerational connections are part of our daily lives. Wish of a Lifetime started in Colorado but the organization fulfills wishes all across the United States, including beautiful OHIO.
I had the pleasure of documenting a wish for a woman named Jane. She attended Canton McKinley High School and played in the marching band. She read in the local paper that the stadium had been fully renovated. Her wish was to visit the stadium and see the marching band play.
Wish of Lifetime went above and beyond with her wish! And the staff at Canton McKinley High School was absolutely phenomenal. Everyone did such an amazing job in order to make Jane’s day so special.
I arrived at the Canton Symphony Center and met with Lisa Reicosky, the Canton McKinley Communications Manager. She did an exceptional job at welcoming me and Jane’s family. We then waited for Jane to arrive.
Shortly after she arrived we all took the elevator up to the 7th floor of the stadium to get a better view of the field. Canton McKinley High School even welcomed Jane with a message on a sign overlooking the stadium. Jane was thrilled when she saw it!
A few staff members stopped by to say hello to Jane. The school principal even stopped by. While he visited, Jane took at look at the yearbook from her senior year. She showed him her senior picture and read her senior quote to the group. The high school band director also stopped by to talk to Jane. We all listened as she reminisced about her days playing in the marching band.
The next surprise was from the high school marching band. They performed their halftime show just for Jane. Watching her during this performance brought tears to my eyes. It was such a special moment for me and I had never even met Jane before this day. There was so much joy there at that moment as I looked at the faces of Jane’s children and the people who had coordinated this day for her. It’s one of those rare moments in life where happiness is all that exists and the whole world feels perfect.
After the performance, the band director presented Jane with a certificate thanking her for the time she had committed to the band during her high school years. And since she played the flute in high school, he brought one for Jane to try out. She told us she hadn’t played in over 40 years but she gave it a try anyway. Her children were all smiles as they watched her.
The final part of Jane’s day was a tour of the new stadium. The renovation is just breathtaking. It is THE most beautiful high school stadium I’ve ever seen in my life. Jane got to see a luxury suite before we all went up to the rooftop deck to see an amazing view of the field. (Note: if you’re afraid of heights I don’t advise looking over the railing. Boy were we high up!)
We retuned back to the 7th floor to have some Canon McKinley themed cookies that were specially made for Jane’s day. They were delicious and a giant platter of them was sent home with Jane.
I love that being a photographer gives me the ability to participate in events like this. Though I operate out of Cleveland, I'm constantly traveling all over Ohio, and into the surrounding states, to work. I'll travel nearly anywhere to do photography. I love the adventure!
Loved hearing about Jane? Follow this link to read more amazing wish stories: https://wishofalifetime.org/wish-stories/
Know a remarkable senior who deserves a wish come true? Follow this link to submit a wish application: https://wishofalifetime.org/what-we-do/submit-a-wish/