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Paying tribute to local Make-A-Wish chapter co-founder Bob Cleaveland

You may not have heard of a machine called a “record-a-call,” but according to Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington co-founder, Bob Cleaveland, it was the cutting edge technology that laid the foundation for our local Make-A-Wish chapter back in 1986.

“That’s how wishes came to us, from hospitals, from schools, from nurses,” he said. An early version of an answering machine, the “record-a-call” was set up in Bob’s spare bedroom. In the early days, his spare bedroom was the organization’s headquarters. But as word spread and more and more children were referred to the program, it became apparent to Bob that a move was necessary to cement the local chapter’s future.

“Moving Make-A-Wish out of his home in Tacoma and into an office in Seattle was probably one of the most formative decisions in the organization’s early history,” said Barry McConnell, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington. “It took courage, trust and risk. That was Bob.”

Bob made phone calls, raised money, met with families and did anything else that was needed to make wishes come true. He was a trustee on the local chapter Board of Directors and also served on the National Make-A-Wish Board.

Make-A-Wish is mourning Bob’s passing on February 14, 2018. “We will forever be grateful to Bob for his leadership, vision, passion and commitment to laying the foundation for the organization we have become today,” said McConnell. Bob not only leaves the legacy he began as one of our founders, but also as a Legacy of WishesSM donor committed to making wishes come true even after his death through a planned gift.

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Make-A-Wish® Alaska & Washington
811 1st Ave #520
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 623-5300
Toll Free (800) 304-9474
Make-A-Wish® Alaska & Washington, Eastern Washington Office
104 S Freya St
Green Flag Bldg #210
Spokane, WA 99202
(509) 458-2618
Toll Free (888) 790-7005
Make-A-Wish® Alaska & Washington, Alaska Office
430 W 7th Ave #110
Anchorage, AK 99501
(907) 258-9474
Toll Free (844) 510-9474