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East Liberty woman gets dream trip from Twilight Wish

| Thursday, July 10, 2014, 8:55 p.m.
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Clara Parrish, 85, of East Liberty, was granted a wish for a girls' trip by the Allegheny County chapter of the Twilight Wish Foundation, Western Pennsylvania.

Many years ago, Clara Parrish hoped to join a group of girlfriends on a trip to Las Vegas.

There was only one problem: She was too cute.

At least, that was the reason her now-late husband, Frank, gave for prohibiting her from going. Fearing other men would flirt with her, Frank made Parrish stay home.

To make up for missing out on the fun all those years ago, Parrish, now 85, of East Liberty, is taking a different girls' trip, this time aboard the Gateway Clipper on July 11, thanks to the Allegheny County chapter of the Twilight Wish Foundation, Western Pennsylvania.

Parrish, who has never been on the Gateway Clipper, is ready to go with a new outfit for the big event.

“After we get this done, I am going to get a man and get married,” she teases.

Twilight Wish is a nonprofit dedicated to granting wishes to seniors older than 68 with an income of less than 200 percent of the national poverty level or who cannot make their own wishes come true, among other requirements. Wishes can range from the practical to the creative, says Lisa Dalena, who volunteers with the local chapter.

“It really varies,” Dalena says. “We had one who wanted a washing machine, another who wanted a lift chair. We had one man who wanted a Neil Diamond impersonator to come to his nursing home to sing.”

As part of their girls' night, Parrish and several friends will enjoy a ride in a stretch limousine and an oldies dinner cruise.

Mary Anne McFeely, a social worker with the Salvation Army who nominated Parrish for the wish, has known her for years and describes her as “feisty.”

“She tells stories about when she was younger,” McFeely says. “Her dad was really strict with her, and she used to climb out her back window to go out.”

Parrish won't be breaking any rules on her upcoming outing, though she might just end up stealing a few hearts.

Details: www.twilightwish.org

Rachel Weaver is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7948 or rweaver@tribweb.com.

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