Feb 18, 2020 7:00 AM
Janie Best
Make a Wish Foundation

The love of a child is an all-consuming wonder that reaches to the very core of our DNA.  When a child hurts, we hurt.  Imagine if you will, it is 1980 and a young, desperately ill 7-year old Chris Greicius is struggling with leukemia.  He clings to his dream to become a police officer, “catching bad guys,” and making the world a safer place.  Good Samaritans, realizing fate’s intervention leaves no such future for Chris, decide to intervene.  Undeterred by a myriad of challenges, this group sets about to fulfill this young boy’s ambitions.  Arrangements are made and Chris is flown by police helicopter to a waiting police escort where he is then taken to Arizona’s Department of Public Safety (DPS).  Here he is honored, inducted into the brotherhood of police professionals, and becomes Arizona’s first and only honorary DPS officer.  Given full honors, presented with his own “Smokey Bear” hat, sheriff’s badge, uniform, and wings, Chris on this day realizes his dream and becomes the impetus for future “Make a Wish” recipients.  On the day of his passing, he lay surrounded by friends, gifts and the tributes that helped ease his pain.  For at least one day…one special day…he had the chance to “Make a Wish” and live his dream.

We are pleased to have Janie Best as Sunrise Rotary’s guest speaker on Tuesday, February 18, 2020.    President & CEO of Make-A-Wish Foundation (Idaho), Janie has 25 years of nonprofit leadership and management experience, working with organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America and the YMCA. She recently served as the CEO of Women Helping Women in Irvine, California. Janie was honored in 2012 by the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce, receiving the “Nonprofit Person of the Year” at their annual Difference Makers Luncheon. She also received the Athena Leadership Award, a national recognition, from the Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce in 2012. In 2018 Janie was nominated for two prestigious Orange County Business Journal Awards, Woman of the Year and Innovator of the Year.  Join Sunrise Rotary’s morning meeting, jump start your day with breakfast and coffee, and be prepared to open your hearts as we learn more about the Make a Wish Foundation.