ATLANTA, GA – November 13, 2013 - Make-A-Wish Georgia announced today the recipients of its Annual Awards, which were distributed at the 9th Annual Wish Ball on October 26, 2013. The awards were given to individuals and/or companies who exemplify commitment to the mission of Make-A-Wish, which is to grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. “Every year we honor a select group of individuals who go above and beyond to create wish experiences that make life better for wish kids, families and communities,” says Make-A-Wish Georgia CEO, John J. Brennan. “We are incredibly excited to honor these outstanding leaders and want to shine a spotlight on them to recognize their incredible commitment to our wish kids. The extraordinary dedication of these award winners can inspire others to step up and join them in making a life-changing difference for children and families right here in Georgia.”
The Power of a Wish Award is presented to an individual or group that has exhibited outstanding leadership over an extended period of time to help Make-A-Wish Georgia expand its ability to deliver its mission of granting wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions. This year, Jay McCann, Partner and Co-founder of J. Christopher’s Restaurants, is the recipient of this award. Since 2009, J. Christopher’s restaurants have participated in an annual fundraiser benefiting Make-A-Wish, raising over $80,000. Their commitment to the Make-A-Wish mission has been phenomenal as they continue to promote opportunities for their patrons and employees to become engaged with our organization.
The Debbie Tillman Award was created in honor of Debbie Tillman, an incredible leader, who, through tireless efforts, helped to launch Make-A-Wish Georgia in 1995 and served as the organization’s first Board Chairperson. This award is presented to an outstanding member of the Board of Directors, as voted on by the staff of Make-A-Wish. Ned Allen is the recipient of the award this year. Ned has served on the Board of Directors for three years, during which time he has provided immeasurable counsel, been a significant financial contributor and served as a liaison and advocate between the local and national offices of the Make-A-Wish organization.
The Hope, Strength and Joy Award is presented to an outstanding volunteer who has helped to deliver hope through granting wishes, strength through their fundraising initiatives, and joy through their commitment to the mission of the organization. This year, the founding and current W.I.S.H. Society Board Members are the recipients of the award. The W.I.S.H. Society is the women’s philanthropic leadership council of Make-A-Wish Georgia. With their name representing an acronym for Women Inspiring Strength and Hope, the recipient group of this award includes Cathy Lefar, Leslie Flynn, Jennifer Helfman, Jane Hennessy, Hilary Hill, Carol Martens. Through their dedication and passion for our mission, these female leaders have chartered the path for women throughout our state to engage with Make-A-Wish in meaningful ways through fundraising, wish-granting and relationship building.
The William Blake Kuller “Indomitable Spirit” Award was established in honor of wish child, Blake Kuller. This award is intended to honor an individual who embodies the essence of an “indomitable” spirit and possesses the qualities of persistence, bravery, compassion, integrity, dedication and humor, as Blake did. Tracy Howk, a licensed clinical social worker with the Aflac Cancer Center of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, is the recipient of this award this year. Her amazing work connecting children with our mission has earned her this recognition. She serves as one of our top referral sources in the state of Georgia, assisting our organization in achieving our vision of granting the wish of every eligible child.
About Make-A-Wish Georgia
Since 1995, Make-A-Wish Georgia has been granting the wishes of local children with life-threatening medical conditions. Having recently granted its 6,000th wish in Georgia, the organization is one of the top tier chapters within the national Make-A-Wish organization. Though the chapter aims to grant 430 wishes this fiscal year, there remain hundreds of children in the local community awaiting their most heartfelt wish experience. To learn more, visit www.georgia.wish.org, follow us on Twitter @MakeAWishGA and connect with us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/makeawishga.