"Celebrating seniors and making dreams come true" is the mission of a non-profit organization called "Twilight Wish," that just fulfilled a life-long desire of Mexico resident Lorene Wolman.
Wolman, 70, is a Columbia native who moved to Mexico 4-5 years ago, after losing her job. She had no savings and had to rely on public housing to get back on her feet.
Her life since then has taken a turn for the better, and seems to be getting better each day.
Wolman has always wanted to travel by train, but due to the expense, she never had the opportunity. Her wish to travel by train to visit her daughter and granddaughter in Denver, Colo., will be granted on Mother's Day weekend, thanks to the Twilight Wish Foundation.
"I have never been on a train and I do so love them," Wolman said. "I think I could sleep so well in a berth compartment listening to the click-clack of the rails. Oh, it's going to be wonderful."
Wolman learned about the Twilight Wish Foundation through an AARP brochure, and decided to submit an application for consideration. That was two years ago. So when she received notification this past February that her wish had been granted, Wolman said she was almost speechless.
Wolman departs from Missouri today, will arrive in Colorado later this evening, and then return to Missouri on May 14. During her stay in Colorado, the foundation is also paying for her hotel accommodations.
"Out of the blue they called and asked me if I still wanted to go on a train ride. I couldn't believe it was true. It had been so long that I figured my wish was too expensive, and they had chosen not to grant it. It had been so long, I almost forgot about it," Wolman said.
"I don't know who established it or the history of the organization, but whoever does it, it is a godsend, because oftentimes seniors are forgotten and overlooked. But this foundation makes you feel really special," she added.
Twilight Wish Foundation is a national nonprofit charitable organization whose mission is to honor and enrich the lives of deserving elders through wish granting celebrations that connect generations. Since its founding in 2003, Twilight Wish has granted more than 1,875 individual wishes to seniors throughout the U.S. Twilight Wish grants wishes to seniors who are over 68 years old and have an income of less than 200 percent of poverty level or who would like to help make a senior's heartfelt wish or lifelong dream come true, visit www.twilightwish.org or call 215-230-8777, ext. 104.
Wolman is the first Missouri resident to be granted a wish through the Twilight Wish Foundation. TWF officials told The Mexico Ledger that her wish is being granted thanks to the generosity of several donors.
Page 2 of 2 - "To them, I say thank you, thank you, thank you," Wolman said, smiling from ear to ear. "This will probably be my last vacation, and the Wish Foundation is making it one I will never forget.
Aside from taking a great train ride and spending time with her daughter, Wolman said she will also get to spend time with her granddaughter, who is graduating high school later this month. It's all so wonderful," she said.
"This is such a tremendous opportunity, and I can't say enough good things about the Twilight Wish Foundation – except that I am truly grateful for what they do, and that I'm really looking forward to my trip," Wolman said.