The Lodge at Hudson Harbor in Tarrytown was the location of an event held by Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley to honor its donors and celebrate having fulfilled two wishes of Hudson Valley youngsters. Special recognition was given to JetBlue Airways during the Taste of the Hudson Valley celebration.
The airline was recognized for sending two local youngsters battling critical illnesses on their wish trips. A 17-year-old from Orange County identified only as Jimmy traveled to Turks and Caicos in the Caribbean, and 14-year-old Joshua of Dutchess County journeyed to New Orleans to fulfill his wish to have a Cajun-inspired culinary experience.
Celebrity chef Peter X. Kelly, owner of Xaviar’s Restaurant Group, joined other notable Hudson Valley chefs participating in the event. Kelly teamed up with young Joshua, who has been diagnosed with hyperplastic left heart syndrome in which the left side of the heart is not properly developed, to prepare Corn Pancake with Crabmeat “Galatoires,” named after a legendary New Orleans restaurant.
Jimmy, who battled cancer, was reunited with JetBlue crewmember Joanne DeLessio who worked his flight to the Turks and Caicos.
Thomas J. Conklin, president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley, said, “With over 70 percent of our wishes requiring air travel, JetBlue’s donation of flights to wish kids and their families is a tremendous gift for the chapter, and we are deeply grateful.”