Boeing brightens holidays for Make-A-Wish Children

Children from the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Orange County will join employee volunteers from The Boeing Company on Dec.27 to put the final floral touches to the Boeing Rose Parade float, "On the Wings of Imagination" at the Rosemont Pavilion in Pasadena, Calif.

In the spirit of the holiday season, Boeing will also present local Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Inland Empire, Los Angeles and Orange County chapters with 150 grandstand tickets for the children and their families. These children who have life-threatening illnesses will enjoy a New Year's breakfast celebration with their families, and will see "their" work of art take-off down Colorado Blvd. before a global audience estimated in the hundreds of millions.

"We're pleased to help the Make-A-Wish Foundation by brightening the holidays for these special children." said Gary Toyama, deputy to the vice president and general manager of operations for Boeing Integrated Defense Systems and Make-A-Wish advisor. "This wonderful organization provides every eligible child in our local communities with the opportunity of having their wishes come true. Make-A-Wish serves these children and their families, helping them find the hope they need to transform life-threatening illnesses into life-affirming triumphs."

Community outreach to nonprofit organizations in Southern California is a key element of Boeing's participation in the Rose Parade. This is the company's fourth consecutive year of partnering with local charities to create a memorable experience for children. Previous organizations included: Olive Crest, Para Los Ninos, Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times and Boys and Girls Clubs of Long Beach and West Valley.

"Make-A-Wish appreciates the relationships we have with community members like Boeing and the support they provide, said Mark Pilon, president of Make-A-Wish Foundation of Orange County. "Together we are able to Share the Power of a Wish."

Boeing grants support initiatives in education, health and human services, arts and culture, and civic and environmental programs. Every year, countless employees promote the spirit of giving through their participation in extensive outreach programs and personal donations through payroll deductions.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy. It is the largest wish-granting organization in the world, with 78 chapters in the United States and its territories, and 25 international affiliates on five continents. With the help of generous donors and more than 25,000 volunteers, the Make-A-Wish Foundation has granted more than 97,000 wishes to children around the world since 1980. For more information, visit the Make-A-Wish Foundation web site.

For further information:
Dianna I. Ramirez
Michelle Wells