Bush School Students Plan to Honor President George H. W. Bush with Make-a-Wish Gift

March 12, 2014

President George HW Bush with 500th Make A Wish recipient

Twenty-five years ago in June, then President George H. W. Bush granted the 500th wish of a Make-A-Wish child to meet him at the White House.  Today, students at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University are raising $6,500 to grant the wish of a child in the College Station or Houston area to honor President Bush.  Believing that a special experience can make a difference, Make-A-Wish grants the wish of a child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition.

Ashley Warrington, a first-year Master of Public Service and Administration student, and Christine Rafiekian, a first-year Master of International Affairs student, are leading a school-wide drive to raise these funds.  Both have had experience with the Wish program.  Ashley was a “wish granter” with the Middle Tennessee branch of the Foundation, and Rafiekian worked at the Give the Kids the World Village, a private resort near Walt Disney World in Florida.

“We firmly subscribe to our namesake’s belief that ‘public service is a noble calling,’” said Warrington, “and we believe that giving to the Make-A-Wish Foundation honors that belief.”  President and Mrs. Bush have endorsed and support this project.

Both Warrington and Rafiekian know the importance of granting wishes to children with life-threatening conditions.  Rafiekian says that while working at Give Kids the World, she was moved by the joy in the eyes of children whose wishes had just come true.  “The Village has endless ice cream, Christmas every week, rides, and visits from Disney characters.  It’s a magical place,” she said.  Warrington’s job was to figure out what a child wanted and plan the “reveal” party.  “One of my favorite memories was when a Wish child told me that having a wish granted almost made chemotherapy worth it,” she said.

The year-long goal is to grant the wish at a 25th anniversary celebration of President Bush’s presidency in April.  Working with the Bush School’s Public Service Organization, students have hosted bake sales and other events, including an event at which students could pay to throw pies at student leaders.

Anyone wanting more information should contact Ashley Warrington at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).  Donations may be made to

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