"We Left a Legacy because we Believe in the Mission"
Tom and Wilda Wolf
Couple has Followed Make-A-Wish® Progress Since Early Days
When 7-year-old Chris Greicius lived his wish to become a police officer, he started a chain of events that changed the world. After he passed away days later in 1980, the media shared his story. People everywhere saw the impact of the experience that inspired the inception of Make-A-Wish.
Tom and Wilda Wolf are among those who heard the story in the earliest days. From that day, they followed the work of Make-A-Wish.
Recently, the Wolfs made a gift commitment the original wish granters never even dreamed about in the early days: They have pledged $500,000 through the Wishes Forever® campaign. Their gift will fund the wishes of children who wish for pets or World Wrestling Entertainment® experiences.
During Tom’s career in education, he developed an interest in the well-being of children. With each passing year, he saw the good that came from Make-A-Wish experiences.
“We watched the organization do great things to help these kids,” Tom said. “It became a personal interest to both of us.”
Tom and Wilda both feel a special connection to pet wishes, stemming from their own love of animals and the calming effect pets can have on people. The couple’s golden retriever, Wyatt, is in training to be a certified therapy dog. They’re with him through every step of his good-citizenship training and work to master hand and verbal commands.
“When we take Wyatt to meet people who are in long-term care, you should see their faces,” Wilda said. “The touch of a nice dog just makes them smile.”
Tom is the inspiration behind the second component of their gift. He is a longtime WWE fan. He’s followed it since before it was known as WWE and recalls all the early Superstars. It was the work of WWE Superstar John Cena®, a prolific celebrity wish granter and member of the Wish Ambassador Council, that convinced them to designate part of their gift to WWE wishes. They described Cena as a caring, warm-hearted person.
Wilda established an even greater connection to wish kids as a volunteer at the Southern Nevada chapter. She used skills from a career as a mainframe system analyst to update the chapter’s databases.
“And I also emptied their trash!” she joked.
Wilda was able to get a more personal perspective on the mission as an airport greeter for visiting wish kids. She remembers it as a great way to welcome wish kids to Las Vegas – especially when she’d meet children from her home state of Pennsylvania.
Being a chapter volunteer gave her the chance to be directly involved – and also to see the care that Foundation volunteers and staff members put into every wish.
“Wish kids are very fortunate to have Make-A-Wish and its employees,” Wilda said. “They’re all dedicated and they’re all special people and I love working with them.”