'I Flew like a Bird'

Article excerpt

Peter Crnkovic loves the rush of jumping out of a plane.

An avid skydiver as a younger man, he took the leap more than 20 times with friends. Now 75, he hadn't experienced that feeling in two decades.

This fall, an organization dedicated to granting wishes to seniors changed that. The Western Pennsylvania Chapter of the Twilight Wish Foundation organized and paid for Crnkovic to take another jump.

"I flew like a bird," said Crnkovic of McKeesport. "It was really something else."

The Western Pennsylvania chapter of the national organization covers Allegheny, Westmoreland, Washington and Butler counties. It has granted 28 wishes since 2006.

The national headquarters is in Doylestown, with active chapters also in Erie, Georgia, Arizona, California, Washington, Idaho, New Jersey, New York, Florida, Virginia and Illinois. Since the foundation's inception in 2003, chapters have granted more than 1,680 wishes.

Wishes are granted for seniors older than 68 with an income of less than 200 percent of the national poverty level, among other requirements.

Some wishes are simple, such as people who need new, appliances, dentures or hearing aids. …