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West Seattle teacher makes wishes come true by running in circles


May 22, 2015


Seattle, WA

Local man celebrates birthday with run to benefit Make-A-Wish® Alaska and Washington.

The average birthday celebration for Lou Cutler consists of more than just a piece of cake and a few gifts. Before his big day approaches, he chooses to lace up his running shoes and work up a sweat to raise money for Make-A-Wish® Alaska and Washington.

A wish granting volunteer for 19 years, Cutler is a physical education teacher at Pathfinder K-8 School in West Seattle and has found an ingenious way to marry his day job with his volunteer job.

Each year, in celebration of his birthday, Lou invites students, parents, colleagues and community members to join him in running laps around their school to raise money for the local chapter. Each year, Lou finds the strength to add one more lap in celebration of one more year of life. A cast of more than 500 children, parents, teachers and school personnel are set to join Lou this year.

Over the past 11 years, Pathfinder has raised more than $55,000. This year, the run will take place on Friday, May 29 at 8:45 a.m. at Pathfinder K-8 School located at 1901 SW Genesee, West Seattle 98106.

This year, Lou will be running 64 laps which equates to almost 11 miles. 

“I will enjoy the best day of my year, as I witness the entire Pathfinder community come together to raise money to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy,” said Cutler.

This year is extra special, as it also celebrates Lou’s retirement from Pathfinder. He hopes to raise more than $15,000 to grant wishes as he heads into retirement.

Since 1986, Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington has granted wishes to more than 5,700 children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true can influence the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Currently, there are more than 400 children awaiting their wishes and there are more who qualify for our services, yet we are unable to reach them and grant their wishes due to a lack of funds and capacity. In fact, every year, one in four seriously-ill children in Alaska and Washington do not receive a wish because of a lack of funding. For more information about Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington and how you can share the power of a wish® please call 800.304.9474, visit or connect with us at or on Twitter @MakeAWishAKWA.

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Lou Cutler
Make-A-Wish Volunteer and Path Finder Elementary School® P.E. Teacher
206.252.9738 or

Jeannette Tarcha
Vice President of Communications and Marketing
Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington
206.623.5338 or

Press Contact

Jeannette Tarcha
Vice President, Communications & Marketing
811 1st Ave #620
Seattle, WA  98104

Phone : (206) 623-5338
Fax : (206) 623-5333


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Make-A-Wish® Alaska & Washington
811 1st Ave #620
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 623-5300
Toll Free (800) 304-9474
Make-A-Wish® Alaska & Washington, Eastern Washington Office
104 S Freya St
Yellow Flag Bldg #207
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