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Make-A-Wish Foundation honors John Cena for his 200th wish
ATLANTA – John Cena was honored by Make-A-Wish Foundation for granting his milestone 200th wish, an achievement six years in the making. (PHOTOS)
The Wish Ambassador was lauded by David Williams, Make-A-Wish Foundation of America president and chief executive officer, in front of the 29 Wish children and their families in attendance at the annual Make-A-Wish Foundation WrestleMania Week pizza party at the Georgia Aquarium.
“We were trying to figure out what we could do to say thank you. Because it’s not just the fact that he’s granted 200 wishes, it’s because he does such a great job and he cares so much about you and about other kids and other families like yours,” Williams said.
"So what we want to do is give a small token of appreciation, and we thought, when would be the best time to do that? We thought the best audience to give the award to John would be you. So let’s thank John for being a wish granter who has granted more than 200 wishes!”
Williams presented Cena with an award honoring his tireless and dedicated service to Make-A-Wish Foundation. The Wish Ambassador joins NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. as a celebrity wish granter fulfilling 200 wishes.
“This is an event we’ve been doing for a few years now. It truly lets me know that WrestleMania is right around the corner. This is truly an event that I take a lot of pride in,” Cena explained.
“I love seeing all of you guys here. I am so glad that everybody made it. I hope that this weekend is as much fun for you as it is for me. I really just want to thank you so much for sharing it with me,” he told the smiling wish kids and their families.
John Cena granted his milestone 200th wish last December when he met 9-year-old Shayan on CBS’ The Talk and invited him to attend Monday Night Raw. Since then, Cena’s wish count continues to grow.
At the pizza party, Cena presented each child or teen from Make-A-Wish Foundation with a personalized and framed WWE Circle of Champions certificate. He posed for photos with each child, as proud family members snapped away at their digital cameras and phones and the crowd cheered for each honoree.
He also reminded the Make-A-Wish Foundation guests that WrestleMania weekend isn’t just a special time for the Superstars and Divas, but for the entire WWE Universe.
“Keep in mind, this weekend, although it is produced by WWE, this weekend is for you guys. It’s for all of you,” he said.
“Last night I had a chance to walk through the Georgia Dome when it was absolutely empty and it looks spectacular. I mean, you guys are going to have fun here today, but you are in for something truly, truly special tomorrow at WrestleMania,” he revealed.
Since 2004, the WWE Superstar has granted wishes week after week at Monday Night Raw and WWE pay-per-views, such as WrestleMania. He’s also joined forces with several organizations – such as Cold Stone Creamery, 7-Eleven, GameStop and T.G.I. Friday’s – to grant special wishes at locations other than arenas, scooping ice cream, playing video games or creating special meals with Wish kids. In 2009, Cena received the Foundation's Chris Greicius Celebrity Award for his dedication to granting wishes. He was named a Wish Ambassador in 2009.
“I certainly enjoy giving every second I can to Make-A-Wish Foundation. I am so thankful you could enjoy this weekend with me,” he said.
Throughout the past 25 years, WWE has granted more than 3,500 wishes (and counting) with Make-A-Wish Foundation, putting smiles on the faces of Wish children and their families. As a token of WWE’s appreciation for Make-A-Wish Foundation, Cena also presented Williams with a replica WWE Championship.
“This is our version of a trophy,” Cena told Williams. “I’m hopefully going to have one tomorrow. I figure you can take this one now, and I’ll win the real one tomorrow from The Miz.”