The Land of 5,280+ Wishes Granted

For more than 33 years, Make-A-Wish® Colorado has been entrusted to change the lives of children

Founded in 1983 as one of the nation’s first Make-A-Wish® chapters, Make-A-Wish Colorado has granted more than 5,000 wishes to eligible children throughout the state, from Fort Collins to Telluride and Grand Junction to Burlington.

Jennifer Mazak-The first Colorado wish, 1983. Photo courtesy of Make-A-Wish Colorado.

Joan Mazak founded Make-A-Wish Colorado 36 years ago after her seven-year-old daughter, Jennifer, passed away from liver failure. Although Jennifer did not receive a formal wish, friends arranged for her to spend an entire day with her favorite local radio mascot, the KIMN Chicken. 

Now, after 36 years and a mile of wishes, Joan Mazak is retiring. 

Joan Mazak, Founder of Make-A-Wish Colorado.

For the first time in Make-A-Wish Colorado's history, the nonprofit has announced a new CEO. Taking Joan Mazak's place is Scott Dishong, former Executive Director for the Mountain States Region of the American Cancer Society, as the new CEO. 

Jack Gleave's Wish to have a puppy. 

At the time, Mazak was amazed that something simple could be so powerful. The happiness that came from Jennifer’s experience motivated Joan to provide other inspiring experiences to Colorado children facing critical illnesses. With the help of family, friends and members of the community, Joan started Make-A-Wish Colorado.

"Make-A-Wish Colorado has meant the world to me and it has been an honor to put my life's work into creating pure moments of joy and fostering hope for the brave children we serve. Everything has been for them and it will continue to be so moving forward," says Mazak.

Amy Fink's Wish to go to New York City.

Thirty-six years and over 5,280 wishes later, Joan Mazak has created an incredible amount of hope, strength and joy in the lives of wish kids, their families and communities across the state of Colorado.

Join Make-A-Wish Colorado in celebrating her legacy by contributing to a fundraising campaign aimed at granting 36 wishes – one for each year that Mazak led the organization.  Learn more at

Don't miss the Walk For Wishes & 5K on October 26 at Hudson Gardens! Register today at

About Make-A-Wish Colorado
Make-A-Wish Colorado is part of the largest wish-granting organization in the world, with 62 chapters in the United States and its territories and 40 international affiliates serving 50 countries.

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