Chuck Biehl (
Mon, 11 Nov 1996 05:04:05 -0500 (EST)

Almost as bad as spams and urban legends.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 10 Nov 1996 20:01:21 -0800
From: Patrick Douglas Crispen <>

Thanks to an unauthorized chain letter that is circulating around the
Internet encouraging people to send business cards to a seriously ill boy,
The Make-A-Wish Foundation, an organization that grants wishes to children
diagnosed with a life-threatening ilness, is being flooded with thousands
of unwanted pieces of snail mail each day.

Seeing the damage that this unauthorized chain letter has caused to the
Make-A-Wish foundation, I ask that you do the following:

1. Read the following press release carefully;

2. Visit or call
(800) 215-1333, extension 184, to verify on your own that the
facts contained in the following press release are legitimate
[a good rule of thumb for Internet survival is to *NEVER*
forward *ANY* e-mail letter on to your friends or coworkers
without first verifying that the contents of that letter are
factual]; and

3. After you have verified that the following press release is
factual, PLEASE forward this entire e-mail letter to as many
people as is possible.

With the holiday season just around the corner, I hope that we can all join
together to give the Make-A-Wish Foundation the greatest Christmas gift
possible. Let's kill this unauthorized chain letter once and for all, and
help Make-A-Wish get back to doing what they do best: granting the *REAL*
wishes of children diagnosed with terminal diseases.

(\__/) .~ ~. ))
/O O ./ .' Patrick Douglas Crispen
{O__, \ { The University of Alabama
/ . . ) \
|-| '-' \ }
.( _( )_.'
'---.~_ _ _& Warning: squirrels.

Make-A-Wish Foundation=AE of America
100 W. Clarendon, Suite 2200
Phoenix, AZ 85013-3518
(800) 722-9474
Fax: (602) 279-0855

Media Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Call (800) 215-1333, ext. 184 for pre-recorded
Craig Shergold message.


PHOENIX, AZ - - An unauthorized chain letter encouraging people to send
business cards to a seriously ill boy continues to generate thousands of
pieces of mail each day, even though the boy is now healed and the family
has requested an end to the mail.

News reports stated in 1989 that Craig Shergold, a 9-year-old English boy
diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor, wanted to be recorded in the
Guinness Book of World Records for receiving the most greeting cards. His
wish was fulfilled in 1990 after receiving 16 million cards.

Shergold's tumor was successfully removed in March 1991. However, the cards
and letters continue. Several versions of the letter exist, most of which
wrongly claim that the young boy remains terminally ill and now wants to
receive the largest number of business cards. The addressee is encouraged
to gather business cards, forward them to an incorrect address in Georgia
and then forward the chain letter to 10 friends.

"The chain letter claims that Make-A-Wish is involved," stated James E.
Gordon, Chairman of the Board of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America.
"That is not true. Our organization is not, and has never been associated
with the letter. Yet our office continues to receive numerous phone calls
each month about the letter, diverting our staff time and resources from
our mission. The Make-A-Wish Foundation requests that people please stop
sending business cards or greeting cards to Craig Shergold."

The Make-A-Wish Foundation of America has set up a special 800 number to
explain the situation. Callers can listen to a pre-recorded message by
dialing (800) 215-1333, ext. 184.

Make-A-Wish Foundation of America, based in Phoenix, has 82 chapters in the
United States. Any child between the ages of two-and-a-half and 18 who has
been determined to have a life-threatening illness is eligible to receive a
wish. The first wish was granted in Phoenix in 1980, and since then
Make-A-Wish has granted more than 37,000 wishes ranging from building a
backyard fishing pond to an all-expense paid trip to Disney World.

For further information regarding the Make-A-Wish Foundation and qualifying
children, contact (800) 722-9474.