SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northeast New York unveiled its Dr. J. Peter McPartlon Wishing Space in downtown Saratoga Springs last Sunday. The ribbon-cutting ceremony featured remarks from Mayor John Safford, State Senator James Tedisco, and Star Wars droid R2-D2.
Jamie Hathaway, President and CEO of Make-A-Wish Northeast New York, showed off some of the facility’s features, including an “immersive” 180-degree movie theater that screens short animated films explaining the Make-A-Wish process to children. The lobby featured large stuffed animals, Legos, and a Pac-Man arcade game. All of these elements are designed to “remind children and to tell children that they have agency over something in their lives,” Hathaway said. “When you have a critical illness, sometimes you feel that it’s only happening to you. You feel very alone in the process, and so what Make-A-Wish does and what this space does is they create community around families in crisis.”
The facility is named in honor of Dr. J. Peter McPartlon, who passed away in 2020. Members of his family said in a statement that they were “honored to be part of this incredible project that embodies the spirit of our father. He believed in the power of wishes to bring joy and healing to children and families in crisis. This Wishing Space is a tribute to his memory and a celebration of the hope that Make-A-Wish instills in the hearts of wish kids and their families.”
During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Mayor John Safford said that Saratoga Springs “is thrilled to have this in our city, and we look forward to all the wonderful things this organization is going to continue to do for our region.”
When asked for comment, R2-D2 beeped and whirled its head.
The Dr. J. Peter McPartlon Wishing Space is now open to the public at 92 Congress Street, next to Fat Paulie’s Delicatessen. For more information, visit www.wish.org/neny.