The Make-A-Wish Foundation of America has announced the recipients of its 22nd annual Chris Greicius Celebrity Awards for exceptional contributions to helping grant wishes to kids with life-threatening medical conditions.
13,800 wishes were granted across the country in the fiscal year 2010 of which more than 1,000 involved celebrities.
“For the Make-A-Wish Foundation, celebrities are not simply promotional faces and voices – they are essential to fulfilling our wish-granting mission,” said David A. Williams, president and chief executive officer of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America. “Every year we like to honor a select group of celebrities who go above and beyond to create wish experiences that make life better for wish kids, families, and communities.”
This year’s Chris Greicius Celebrity Award recipients include:
Justin Bieber – Justin Bieber has granted dozens of wishes and remains one of the most popular celebrity wish requests, with dozens of wish requests at any given time. Wish kids remark how attentive and gracious Justin is and how generous he is with his time and gifts he provides each wish kid to help remember their meet-and-greet experience. The Make-A-Wish Foundation presented Justin’s award to him at a special event in November in New York City, where Justin granted the wishes of 30 wish kids.
“Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro – The popular star of TLC’s television show “Cake Boss,” Buddy Valastro, granted his first wish in 2010 and quickly became a popular wish request. He coordinates wish experiences in his New Jersey cake shop, where he helps wish kids design and bake their own cakes. He has included wish kids in his television show and even dedicated an episode to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Buddy checks in to receive status updates on the health conditions of wish kids he meets and even promised, on national television, to give one an internship after she completes her education. Buddy serves as an honorary board member for the New Jersey chapter, which also recently honored him with its Humanitarian of the Year award. Buddy was presented with his award at the Foundation’s annual conference in Scottsdale, AZ.
Sesame Street – In its 42 years of production, Sesame Street has earned eight Grammy Awards, 138 Emmy Awards – more than any other children’s show – and has helped grant the wishes of many wish kids. The show welcomes children to the set for a show taping, arranges time with their favorite characters, and has even sent characters, like Elmo, across the country to the bedside of wish kids who are too sick to travel. Additionally, members of Sesame Street were presented with their award at the Foundation’s annual conference in Scottsdale, AZ.
Detroit Red Wings – The Detroit Red Wings have impacted dozens of wish kids and their families through wish-granting, ticket enhancements, and special events. The entire team comes together to make wish kids feel like they are just another teammate. They involve wish kids in practices, team meetings, even pranks, arrange one-on-one time with favorite players, give them special treatment at games, and provide autographs and signed hockey memorabilia. One of the Original Six NHL teams, this amazingly successful franchise opens its doors and hearts to wish children and their families without hesitation or pretense. Wish children spend time on the ice skating with their idols and enjoy the banter of casual conversation. The wish children make more than memories, they make friends. The Foundation presented the Detroit Red Wings their award during a pre-game celebration in November.