The Make-A-Wish Foundation of America announced John Cena as one of five recipients of its 20th annual Chris Greicius Celebrity Awards. The honorees were selected for their exceptional dedication to the Foundation's mission by helping grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. (PHOTOS)
One of the most popular celebrity wish requests among wish kids, Cena has granted 147 wishes since 2004. In addition to regularly granting wishes at WWE events such as Raw and WrestleMania, he has also helped fulfill modeling and film wishes through his projects outside the ring. Cena serves as a Wish Ambassador for the Foundation supporting its goal to expand wish-granting efforts to more eligible children.
The four other award recipients are Dave Matthews Band, Baltimore's Charm City Cakes, the Philadelphia Phillies and New York's Garden of Dreams Foundation.
"This year's Chris Greicius Celebrity Award recipients have shown a remarkable commitment to our mission," said David Williams, Make-A-Wish Foundation of America president and chief executive officer. "They create singular, unforgettable experiences for children because of the time, care and creativity they devote to each child's wish. We are truly grateful for their dedication and for giving wish kids and their families so much lasting joy."
Started in 1990, the Chris Greicius Celebrity Award is named in honor of the 7-year-old boy whose wish to be a police officer inspired a group of caring volunteers to fulfill his dream in 1980 and later create the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The Foundation's Celebrity and National Sports Program team facilitates the wishes of children who ask to meet their favorite TV or movie star, musician, athlete, entertainment personality or other public figure. This past fiscal year, the Make-A-Wish Foundation granted 856 celebrity- and national sports-related wishes, about 6 percent of the some 13,500 wishes it granted to children with life-threatening medical conditions nationwide.