Making twilight dreams come true

August 21, 2008 6:15:01 PM PDT
Many people have a wish list of things they dream of doing. But for some reason or another, they never get the chance to do them.Well, as the saying goes, it's never too late.

Now, there's a group dedicated to making wishes come true for those in their their golden years.

It was going to be a special day for 91-year-old Margaret Heineman. She just didn't know it yet. She was about to make her stage debut at Symphony Space in Manhattan. And her family couldn't wait.

"She's the last left of her generation," niece Pam Yurasek said. "She was born in 1916. She's my father's little sister."

You see, Margaret just wants to get up and dance.

"Since I was a kid," she said, "I love to dance."

Now, she's on stage with dancers from world famous companies like the Royal Ballet and the Danish Ballet. Partner Nicholas Villeneuve is from Ballet Hispanico.

He says Margaret has what it takes.

"Excellent," Villeneuve said. "She was actually counting rhythm. I felt very honored."

Margaret's debut was made possible by the Twilight Wish Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to making seniors' dreams come true.

The foundation was contacted by Margaret's nursing home in the hopes of giving one of their favorite residents the thrill of a lifetime.

"You reach a certain point in your life and you finally have time to do something," Twilight Wish founder Cass Forkin said. "But you don't have money or the ability to make it happen. So we grant wishes for those over 68 who can't make their wishes comes true."

Show producer Glory Van Scott got everything together, contacting her friends in the dance and music world to volunteer their time for Margaret.

"Each person I approached got very excited about helping the Twilight Foundation," Van Scott said. "To make this wish come true."

The foundation has granted almost 1,000 wishes, big and small, bringing special joy to seniors' lives. Thanks to Twilight Wish, Margaret can look back on this day and say she got to dance with the pros.

"I thought it was a wonderful thing," she said. "It was great, brought a tear to my eye. Just wonderful to have this at the twilight of your life."

The Twilight Wish Foundation also accepts donations. And it's not just big dreams on the wish lists. The foundation also helps grant wishes for things like hearing aids and dentures.

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