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New Name, Same Aim

Columbus C.E.O. MagazineColumbus CEO article
February 2009
by Jennifer Wray

Like many 13-year-olds, Adventures for Wish Kids (AFWK) has discovered that growing up can be, well, a pain. On Jan. 1, the nonprofit organization, which supports children with life-threatening illnesses and their families, changed its name to A Kid Again (AKA).

The move came after AFWK, interested in expanding beyond Ohio, attempted to trademark its name. Attorneys from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease found the Arizona-based Make-A-Wish Foundation of America had nabbed a similar trademark, "Kids for Wish Kids," in 1996.

With its trademark request stymied, AFWK decided to switch, rather than fight. AFWK/AKA President Jeff Damron says A Kid Again is an appropriate new moniker because when children are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, "instantly, they become adults, with all of this stuff they're inundated with." AKA's ongoing support give those kids a chance to "be a kid again."

Damron says the name change should also help eliminate confusion between AFWK and wish-granting organizations, notably Make-A-Wish, that grant one big request for each ill child. Damron's group presently hosts ongoing events for more than 1,400 sick children and more than 5,100 family members, aiming to preserve their morale during long and difficult battles. (C.E.O. account executive Sue Ann Shetler is a longtime AFWK volunteer and board member.)

Damron says AKA is "cautiously seeking new markets to serve new children," beyond its current chapters in Columbus, Cincinnati, Dayton and Cleveland. With the new name comes a new Web address, akidagain.org.


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