The Trumbull-based Make-A-Wish Foundation of Connecticut hosted a private celebration Jan. 26 for its largest donors, unveiling its Wish Society Wall of Stars.

Fifty people gathered at the Make-A-Wish office located on Monroe Turnpike for a ceremony recognizing them for their individual philanthropy and support of the Make-A-Wish mission throughout the past year.

Pam Keough, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Connecticut, spoke to those in attendance and explained the enormity of their leadership and what they have made possible for the chapter.

“We are proud to recognize the members of our Wish Society here in Connecticut with our Wall of Stars,” commented Pam Keough, President & CEO of Make-A-Wish Connecticut. “By continuing to support us and our mission, these leaders have helped pave the way to over 200 wishes granted last year, and over 2,500 wishes granted since our beginning.”

Members of the society are recognized based on their level of commitment in one particular year.

Over 150 stars were hung on the wall to recognize the society’s members for 2015.

New author

The celebration also included a very unique wish experience that guests were fortunate to witness. 17-year-old Lauren Telesz of Fairfield, who has battled a life-threatening medical condition, wished to become a published author.

As an avid reader and writer, Lauren had found herself spending time at home during medical treatments, reading to her 5-year-old brother.

While also preparing for the SATs and for college, Lauren formulated an idea to write a children’s book that would incorporate difficult vocabulary words, so that children could learn their meaning through the context of the story. When Lauren was approached by Make-A-Wish, she asked if she could wish to see her dream become a reality and become a published author.

Make-A-Wish staff, volunteers, and the dedicated team at Homebound Publications worked over the past few months to make that dream become a reality. Lauren was invited to the Wish Society celebration Tuesday evening to share her wish and sign pre-published books for guests. As an added surprise, Lauren was presented with her formal contract with Homebound Publications, to be signed that evening, effective immediately.

As of Tuesday January 26th, Lauren Telesz had become a published author.

“In early December, Homebound Publications received a call from the Make-A-Wish Connecticut. That was the first time I heard about Lauren Telesz, her book, and her wish,” shared Leslie Browning, Award-Winning Author and Founder of Homebound Publications. “Even though it meant taking on a great deal of work at the last minute (condensing 18 months work into 10 weeks), the staff agreed that we should accept the project and offer Lauren a formal contract for publication. Surprising her and playing a part in helping her wish come to fruition was sincerely a highlight of my career.”

“Lauren is an incredible young woman, and her book is a great example of the passion and talent she possesses,” Keough said. “Making her wish become a reality and seeing her become a published author was a rare and exciting experience not only for her and her family, but for all of us. Lauren’s future is a bright one and we are very proud to have her as a member of our Wish Family.”

Lauren’s book, The Excursion, will be available online and in stores this Spring.

For more information on Make-A-Wish Connecticut visit To learn more about the Wish Society, visit or contact Maria Arnold at