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AEP volunteer helps fulfill wishes effectively behind the scenes

by on May 2, 2012
Danny Case at his office, with a photo collage in the background signed by Make-A-Wish staff members thanking him for his help through his volunteer and fundraising work with the Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana Chapter.
 
Photo by: Ken Drenten
Danny Case is a behind-the-scenes kind of guy whose volunteer work is putting him front and center as far as the Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana Chapter is concerned.
 
Case, a senior audit consultant and a 34-year AEP employee in Audit Services at AEP Headquarters, has volunteered with Make-A-Wish for more than 11 years. The organization, founded in 1983, grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions.
 
“I had contributed to Make-A-Wish and I got a mailing from them stating that they were looking for volunteers, so I decided to sign up,” Case said. Since then, he has typically volunteered about 100 hours a year with the organization.
 
Rather than having direct contact with clients whose wishes are being fulfilled, Case prefers to remain in the background, helping out at special events and filling in wherever needed, whether it’s setting up chairs, driving to pick up wish lists at Christmas time, or grilling food at big events. He also contributes directly and indirectly to fundraising efforts.

I wish…

Here are some of the wishes granted through the Make-A-Wish Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky Chapter, which will celebrate the fulfillment of its 11,000th wish May 6.
To meet NASCAR racer Jeff Gordon — Caleb, 12
To go to the U.S. Open — Andrew, 12
To be a Nashville recording artist — Sarah, 14
To meet Pope Benedict XVI — Andrew, 9
To have a Pirate birthday party — Brittany, 18
To go to the Miramar Air Show — Jared, 13
To have a birthday party — Zanayha, 3
To meet NFL player Josh Cribbs — Mark 15
To go to Hawaii — Lauran, 18
“I had the typical childhood illnesses growing up, but nothing like what these kids go through,” the Portland, Ind., native said. “I don’t have bad days compared to what their days can be like.”
 
The organization recently named Case its Outstanding Fundraising Volunteer for 2012 in recognition of his efforts.
 
“Danny is a common sight at many of our events, such as the BIG Wish Gala, Walk for Wishes, and our Hoops for Hope basketball tournament,” said Tiffany Herron, manager of volunteer programs for Make-A-Wish O-K-I. “He has served as a committee member as well as day-of-event help at many past events.”
 
Case said volunteers and funds are crucial to the group’s mission, since the chapter has a very small professional staff. The average wish costs about $6,000 to fulfill, and the chapter, which is the largest Make-A-Wish chapter in the nation, is preparing to grant its 11,000th wish.
 
“Ninety percent of the wishes involve airline travel – going to Walt Disney World Resort is a typical wish, but kids also want to meet celebrities, and there are all kinds of wishes granted,” he said.
 
He said one wish by a child who had mobility challenges was for an accessible playhouse, and another from a talented teen musician was for a harp to play. He added that the country music group Rascal Flatts has been a big wish-granter and supporter of Make-A-Wish.
 
“I do meet some of the kids at the big events, but I work mostly behind the scenes,” he said. “We have volunteers who work directly with families to help them fulfill the childrens’ wishes, but that gets pretty emotional.”
 
Herron said the group has more than 130 children currently on its wish-fulfillment waiting list.
 
“Giving hope to a seriously ill child whose life has been turned upside down with hospital stays and medical procedures at a time when they need it most is an enduring gift,” she said. “It’s volunteers like Danny who make this mission possible.”
One Comment
  1. jcfreddy permalink

    I worked with Danny Case for many years as he audited I&M in Fort Wayne and other Indiana, Michigan and Ohio locations. It is truly heartwarming to read about Danny’s outstanding work with Make-A-Wish. Thank you for publicizing Danny’s outstanding avocation; I salute his talent and am so very pleased to read about those he’s directly helped. Great Job, Danny!! Joy Frederick, Fort Wayne I&M & AEP Retiree.

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