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Guelph Wish Fund for Children celebrates updates

New look - Guelph Wish Fund for Children vice chair Dave Kavanagh, chair Melanie DiReto and executive director Sharon Rice with the new logo.  Submitted photo

Guelph Wish Fund for Children celebrates updates

GUELPH - With more than 370 “wishes” granted over 35 years, Guelph Wish Fund for Children is looking towards a strong future and to brightening the lives of even more local kids who are facing a life-altering injury, illness or disability.

In October, the local charity launched a new strategic plan, brand and public awareness campaign designed to encourage not only donations, but referrals of eligible children whose life can be made a little happier by granting them a wish.

“Our goal is to support as many children as we can, and our community plays a strong role in that. We have been fortunate to be a charity of choice for many local businesses and philanthropists, and their generosity has helped us touch many lives,” said agency executive director Sharon Rice.

“We continue to encourage fundraising because our work is 100% funded by local donations. As well, we want to spread the word that we are looking for referrals from our community. We know there are many kids and families in Guelph and Wellington County that would benefit from a wish with us.”

Rice said the charity has long struggled with confusion alongside larger national organizations that have a similar mission.

The public campaign will help clarify that the Guelph Wish Fund is entirely local, and a bit different. They define a “wish” broadly, she says.

“We serve the child, first and foremost, and our philosophy is to also support the family,” Rice said.

“They experience the same hard times and strong emotions. Sometimes the best ‘wish’ is something that brings the family together, and makes life easier for everyone involved.”

The charity has supported needs such as a therapeutic pool heater, specialized equipment or flight tickets for parents to accompany their child to a medical procedure.

“There are many varied needs that families reach out to us to support, and we try to stay flexible, and to make the process as easy as possible,” she said. “Most of these families deal with enough paperwork.”

The campaign comes with a new logo and look.

“Seeing a child brighten up with joy and hope over something we helped to provide is an amazing feeling,” said Melanie DiReto, chair of the board of directors. “This new look is meant to capture that feeling. It’s vibrant, lively and ... a true reflection of the children we support.”

The agency also launched a revamped website at

“Our new tagline is ‘Making life a little happier.’ It’s raw and honest,” DiReto said. “We understand the very challenging circumstances for these children and their families ... we can’t make it go away, but that we can bring a little joy is a great privilege.”

November 30, 2018


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