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The Guelph Wish Fund for Children was founded in August 1984 by Ron Asselstine and Alan Ferris. On a routine trip during his officiating career in the National Hockey League, Ron found himself in a Minnesota hotel room watching TV after the game. While watching the news, Ron was inspired by a young boy reporting the weather. The boy, he learned, was ill, and was given the opportunity to deliver the weather report as the fulfilment of a wish. At that moment, Ron decided he wanted to do something similar in his home town of Guelph. Upon his return, he told Alan about the idea. Alan was similarly inspired by the story, and shortly thereafter the two formed the Guelph Wish Fund for Children.
The first ‘wish’ was granted in May 1985, and, since then, the Guelph Wish Fund for Children has supported hundreds of children and their families. After 30 years of incredible effort by Ron and his wife, Wendy, the Board hired its first part-time Executive Director in 2012. The Executive Director worked with the Wish families and Board volunteers managed the administrative and fundraising concerns. In 2017 the Board began taking on a more proactive governing role and a new management team was hired to share the program and administrative responsibilities.
During its early development, the Wish Fund received generous financial support from many individuals and corporations. The generosity of the community continues to grow and allows our organization to flourish. For over 30 years the GWFC has held an annual Gala and annual Golf Tournament. We are especially grateful for the support of the many ‘third party’ fundraising events held on our behalf by many local businesses, community organizations and groups. GWFC has never solicited nor received government support.
In April, 1995, the Guelph Wish Fund for Children formally incorporated into a non-profit corporation and received charitable status in the same year. From its humble beginnings of a few friends sitting around a dining room table, the organization has grown substantially and is now professionally managed and governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. The Guelph Wish Fund for Children will celebrate its 37th anniversary in 2021.
The Guelph Wish Fund for Children supports children and their families facing a medical challenge by providing a ‘wish’ that makes the children’s lives a little happier.
We provide hope, strength and joy to children and their families during a very difficult time. We partner with our community, our tireless volunteers, and the generosity of many individuals, groups and businesses, to provide a special experience or family necessities to all deserving children who are facing a significant or life-altering disease, injury or medical challenge in our community. On occasion, we also support other organizations in the community that serve these children. We have a dynamic volunteer Board, professional staff, and a rich base of dedicated community supporters and volunteers. GWFC successfully engages in proactive outreach and actively communicates to the community about the work it does. The organization is well managed and financially self-reliant.