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A Special Wish Foundation Records

Identifier: MS-481

Scope and Content

A Special Wish Foundation was the first wish-granting organization in the State of Ohio and created its first chapter in Dayton. The collection would be valuable to someone who may have had a relative that was a wish recipient or granter. It is also valuable to those who are researching foundations and charities in Dayton. Finally, this collection is a piece of cultural history for Dayton and the State of Ohio.

Series I, Administration, 1989-2011, contains two subseries and covers meeting minutes of the Board of Directors and media coverage. Subseries IA, Board of Directors Meeting Minutes, 1989-2011, includes meeting minutes as well as financial records for the Board of Directors. Several folders of material had been severely damaged by water and appeared to have mold beginning to grow. These folders were copied and the original material discarded. There are some instances were Wright State University students raised money for wishes. Subseries IB, Media, 2000-2009, contains any media coverage on A Special Wishes Foundation, Inc. largely in newspaper clippings of wishes and events.

Series II, Audio-Visual Media, 1998-2011, contains two subseries. Subseries IIA, Photographs, 1998-2011, is probably the largest subseries as it documents hundreds of wishes granted and events such as luncheons and holiday events that children were able to participate. Over 1000 wishes have been granted since A Special Wish Foundation, Inc. was founded. Subseries IIB, CDs, DVDs, VHSs, 2000, 2002, consists largely of photograph CDs that correspond with photographs in Series IIA, as well as videos of some events.


  • Creation: 1989-2011


Restrictions on Access

There are no restrictions on accessing materials in this collection.

Restrictions on Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

History of A Special Wish Foundation

"A SPECIAL WISH FOUNDATION, INC. was the first wish-granting organization in the State of Ohio and the third such organization in the nation, when it was founded in 1982.

The organization was founded by Ramona Damron-Fickle, who was concerned about the lack of services for terminally-ill children. In 1981, she began to develop an organization which would meet the wish-granting needs of qualifying children.

"Seed" money was provided to the Foundation in the form of its first contribution. A local resident, Cliff Damron, made the contribution in memory of his wife, Gladys, who was known among family and friends for her active role in helping provide the spiritual and physical needs of disadvantaged children in their families.

In March 1982, the first organizational meeting was held at the Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. A 12-member Board of Directors representing a broad spectrum of the State was seated to administer the program. In May 1982, the Foundation's Articles of Incorporation were filed and the Foundation was later determined by the Internal Revenue Service to be exempt from Federal Income Tax under Section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The first wish was granted in 1982 to six-year-old Amber Johnson, a leukemia victim. Amber and her family visited her favorite characters, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck at their home in Disney World.

In 1984, the first Chapter was placed in Dayton, Ohio. The first out-of-state chapter was placed in Orlando, Florida in 1984. In 1993, the first chapter in a foreign country was placed in Moscow, Russia.

In 1985, the original 12-member Board of Directors became the National Board of Governors. The Board of Governors oversee the program on a national/international basis.

As other chapters were developed, the program was expanded to include all qualifying children referred to the Foundation by the Medical community across the United States."

Over 900 wishes have been granted since this organization began and it is still one of the largest wish-granting organizations in the United States.


7.5 linear feet

Language of Materials



A Special Wish Foundation, Inc. was the first wish-granting organization in the State of Ohio and the third such organization in the nation, when it was founded in 1982. This records collection largely contains the meeting minutes from 1989-2011, media coverage from approximately 2000-2009 and photographs from numerous wishes. The collection also contains audio-visual media including pictures, negatives, VHS, CDs, and DVDs.

Statement of Arrangement

This collection is divided into two series and four subseries:

  1. Series I: Administration, 1989-2011
  2. Subseries I: Board of Directors Meeting Minutes, 1989-2011
  3. Subseries II: Media, 2000-2009
  4. Series II: Audio-Visual Media, 1989-2011
  5. Subseries I: Photographs, 1989-2011
  6. Subseries II: CDs, DVDs, VHSs, 2000, 2002

Technical Requirements

A CD, DVD, and VHS player is required to review some of the materials.

Acquisition Information

This collection was donated to Wright State University Special Collections and Archives by Dave Seyer in October 2013.


Further Accruals are expected

Related Material

MS-130, Dayton Foundation Records MS-186, Child Guidance Center Records MS-259, Richard Allaman Papers

Separated Material

Electronic media, such as CDs and DVDs were separated out of the collection and stored in the E-Archive. An oversized picture was stored in a separate location.

Processing Information

Processed by Leigh McCormick and Victoria Penno, 2014.

Guide to the A Special Wish Foundation Records (MS-481)
Finding aid prepared by Leigh McCormick and Victoria Penno, 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Wright State University Libraries
Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA