As an employee of American Airlines, John is on the front lines with our wish kids and families who embark on their wish trips from JFK Airport. He has impacted the lives of hundreds of wish kids over the past decade.
John first got involved with wish kids through the Something mAAgic Foundation, a non-profit run by American Airlines employees to help support various children’s organizations. When he joined their board eight years ago, he knew he wanted to step up the level of support American was providing wish kids at JFK. He came up with what we think is the absolute best way for our wish kids’ journeys to begin.
When John receives information from Make-A-Wish about a family about to take their journey, he reaches out to them by phone in the days leading up to their trip. For many of our wish families, this is their first trip on an airplane, so he helps answer any questions they may have. When the family arrives at the airport, John ensures that they have VIP service from beginning to end. The family is met at the curb, expedited through security and taken to the Admiral’s Club where they can get a bite to eat and enjoy some privacy and quiet time before boarding.
When the wish kid arrives at their gate, a special announcement is made by the American Airlines staff celebrating the child’s wish and officially welcoming them on board. Once on the plane, wish kids and their families visit the cockpit and meet the pilot. Without John’s steadfast support of this program, none of these special considerations would be possible.
While John is truly one-of-a kind, supporting Make-A-Wish is a Fenech family affair. In addition to directly supporting hundreds of wish kids each year at JFK, he is one of Make-A-Wish Metro New York’s biggest fundraisers for the annual Long Beach Polar Bear Super Bowl Splash. For the last four years, John has jumped into the freezing cold Atlantic Ocean in February with his son Jack in support of our wish kids! John credits Jack’s enthusiasm for the cause and the event as the reason for such continued success with their fundraising. On top of fundraising, John and his family donate to Make-A-Wish themselves to help grant even more wishes.
John is a shining example of how each and every one of us can make a difference - in our personal lives and at work. We are so inspired by his dedication to our mission and want to thank John and his family for continuing to be a beacon of light for our wish kids.