As I'm sure you are aware, by either watching my Massage Chair Industry Updates or by visiting my site, I am a big fan of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. It all began when I was still a practicing chiropractor. We have a local MAW chapter here in Utah which I approached many years ago to see if we could sponsor a Wish Child through my practice. It was an incredibly humbling and rewarding experience, for myself and staff and patients, the culmination of which was an emotional meeting our Wish Child. I have been hooked ever since.
When I began my massage chair company in 2005, I again committed to being involved with Make-A-Wish. I began by personally donating a portion of every one of my massage chair sales to this wonderful foundation and, in two instances, actually providing massage chairs to Wish Children from other local chapters who's wishes included wanting a massage chair.
We don't have specific Wish Children anymore but the funds we donate are used in whatever capacity, for whatever Wish Child, they deem necessary. To date we have donated close to $60,000 to the MAW Foundation! Thank you for your help. Without this massage chair business and your continued patronage, we couldn't have done what we've done. You can visit my page, with it's updated donation amount, at this link...
One of the unexpected side benefits of my relationship with MAW has been getting to know Mark Simonson, their Senior Manager of Planned Giving. Mark travels from Phoenix, which is the location of their international headquarters, a couple of times a year and brings me MAW updates as well as beautiful gifts, including books written by Wish Children, whenever we reach certain donation thresholds. It has been a pleasure to get to know him.
Well, I was in Arizona Tuesday of this week signing the lease for our next Massage Chair Relief store, and Mark invited me to come visit the world headquarters of Make-A-Wish for a tour. After all my work with the store was done, I drove to their offices and got treated like royalty. I know in the grand scheme of things my donation total is nothing compared to what other donors give, but everyone I met on the tour made me feel like what I was doing was amazing. I'll admit I felt quite embarrassed by the accolades when I knew my contribution amount was really just a drop in the bucket. But they were all so gracious and kind to me for what we were doing, you would have thought I was their #1 donor!
Part of the visit to the MAW headquarters was a 20 minute visit with Richard Davis, the President and CEO of Make-A-Wish. I was actually shocked that he would take time from his busy schedule to meet with me, but Mark made it happen. Again, he made me feel like a million bucks for our small part in all of this, but it was wonderful to chat with him about the Foundation and what is going on around the world with their organization and with the children. A very kind and gracious man. It seems that in every picture I'm in with folks from MAW, I am always the shortest!
While I was given the tour of the new Make-A-Wish national headquarters, Mark took the time to explain to me the origins of Make-A-Wish and how it all started. I did not know this but a wish to be a police officer was granted by some policemen and the mother of a child name Chris Greicius. Some local police officers, at the request of Chris's mother, made him an honorary police officer for a day. Chris died four days later. From that humble and tender beginning an amazing foundation was organized. In their new headquarters there is a garden at the front entrance with a statue of Chris, as well as a display with artifacts, images, and the actual uniform he was given for visitors to enjoy.
Thank you, again, dear reader, for purchasing your massage chair from Massage Chair Relief and being a part of my effort to pitch in to this great cause!
Dr. Alan Weidner
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