Make-A-Wish Connecticut hosted its first “Wish Family Celebrations” at its headquarters on Monroe Turnpike in Trumbull Sunday Sept. 27.

Each year, Make-A-Wish Connecticut grants over 200 wishes to children battling life-threatening medical conditions. The organization has begun hosting occasional celebrations that will bring Wish Families whose wishes were granted in the past three or four months together for an afternoon of food, games, and entertainment, as well as sharing wish experiences with one another.

“It was a thrill to have Joe here to entertain our Wish Kids, their siblings and their parents,” said Michael Dominick, community and media relations manager for Make-A-Wish Connecticut. “Our mission is to make wishes come true for kids with life-threatening medical conditions, and our hope is to put smiles on our Wish Kids’ faces during difficult times.”

Over 100 guests were in attendance for the fall celebration, which was a carnival-themed event featuring games, prizes, cotton candy, popcorn, and entertainment by none other than Joe Barney of Center Ring Productions in Bridgeport.

Center Ring was created by Joe Barney and family, spreading smiles across the country for over forty years. He was born into a show business family, and has spent his life performing as a Clown, Comedy Magician, Master of Ceremonies and P. T. Barnum for Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus. He has performed at Radio City Music Hall, Walt Disney World, The Big Apple Circus and Circus Sarasota. Joe has also served as an entertainment coordinator for The Six Flags theme parks, creating and directing  shows and parades throughout the country.

“Joe was a perfect fit for our first ever Wish Family celebration, as he embodies that same spirit and vision of putting smiles on kids’ faces when they need it most,” Dominick said.

More wishes coming

Make-A-Wish Connecticut granted 209 wishes in its most recent fiscal year, and hopes to grant 240 in the year ahead.

“We hope to continue to reach more children each year than the year before,” Dominick said. “Hosting our Wish Family celebrations has helped us create a sense of community and family among our Wish Kids, and we hope to continue to grow that family each year.”

For more information on Make-A-Wish Connecticut, to refer a child or get involved, visit CT.WISH.ORG.