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2014: TC01102014_MAWJonah The Big "I" provides numerous resources to assist consumer and general business writers, editors and producers with insurance-related or small business-related stories. IIABA has knowledgeable staff sources as well as hundreds of local agent spokespeople located in communities across the nation who are available to answer questions from reporters and serve as news sources on insurance-related consumer issues.
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Make-A-Wish® and Trusted Choice® Grant 15-Year-Old Jonah’s Wish for a Skate Park
Jonah’s Skate Park in Southern California will be presented Saturday.
TC_2color_RGB_72dpi_no tag.jpgALEXANDRIA, Va., Jan. 10, 2014 – Trusted Choice®, the consumer branding program for independent insurance agents and brokers, has teamed up with Make-A-Wish® Tri-Counties to help grant Jonah’s one true wish. The 15-year-old from Ojai, Calif. will be presented with his own skate park wish on Saturday, Jan. 11 at 12:00 p.m.
 
WHO:  Jonah, 15-year-old Wish kid
 
WHAT: Grand Opening of Jonah's Skate Park
 
WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014
          12:00 p.m. PST
 
WHERE: Jonah’s Skate Park (unveiling)
              Ojai, Calif. 
 
Volunteers and Make-A-Wish professionals have worked hard to ensure that Jonah would have a memorable and pivotal wish experience from start to finish.
 
Before he got sick and was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer called glioblastoma multiforme, Jonah was a skateboarding fanatic. Jonah underwent surgery in January of 2013 when he was 14 years old. The surgery was followed by six weeks of chemotherapy and radiation, then monthly trips to UCLA for more radiation and antibody treatments as part of a clinical trial. Jonah is continuing monthly trips to Los Angeles and is also working hard in speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy, where he’s recently regained enough use of his right hand to use chopsticks. 
 
When Make-A-Wish came to visit in March of 2013, Jonah wished for a skateboarding structure, so his friends could hang out and skate even though his chemotherapy protocol did not allow for him to personally skate. More information about Jonah’s wish is available on the Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties Facebook page.
 
“Trusted Choice® is honored to work with Make-A-Wish and our independent insurance agencies across the country to donate half a million dollars to grant wishes nationwide for children like Jonah,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Trusted Choice® president and Big “I” president & CEO. “Independent agents are there to instill confidence and hope in their clients and customers, and that’s what Make-A-Wish does for so many children. We are proud to support them in granting wishes and look forward to helping to enrich the experiences of these children with hope, strength and joy.”
 
The sponsorship of Jonah’s wish is part of a larger commitment from Trusted Choice® that will help local chapters throughout the country grant more wishes.
 
“The impact of a wish-come-true is far-reaching. It affects wish kids, families, and entire communities,” says Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties CEO Shanna Wasson Taylor. “We are privileged to have Trusted Choice® as a sponsor of wishes in the very communities where their members are actively involved.”
 
Trusted Choice® is proud to have sponsored wishes for more than 21 children with life-threatening medical conditions since its first social media campaign in 2011. In addition, Trusted Choice® will have sponsored 70 grants through a $525,000 local sponsorship initiative before year’s end. Collectively, Trusted Choice® has raised more than $945,000 for Make-A-Wish since 2011.
 
 Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. According to a 2011 U.S. study of wish impact, most health professionals surveyed believe a wish-come-true can have positive impacts on the health of children. Kids say wishes give them renewed strength to fight their illnesses, and their parents say these experiences help strengthen the entire family. Based in Phoenix, Make-A-Wish is one of the world’s leading children’s charities, serving children in every community in the United States and its territories. With the help of generous donors and more than 25,000 volunteers, Make-A-Wish grants a wish somewhere in the country every 38 minutes. It has granted more than 240,000 wishes since its inception in 1980; more than 14,000 in 2013 alone. Visit Make-A-Wish at wish.org and discover how you can share the power of a wish®.   
 
Trusted Choice® educates consumers about the benefits of using independent agents and brokers for their insurance needs: choice of companies, customized policies and advocacy support. Trusted Choice® is the consumer marketing identity for more than 25,000 independent insurance agencies and brokerage firms and 70 leading company partners. For more information, go to www.TrustedChoice.com.
 
Founded in 1896, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”), is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of approximately a quarter of a million independent insurance agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life and health—as well as employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address:  www.independentagent.com.
 
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