DECEMBER 14, 2017 – (Honolulu, Hawaii) It is with heavy hearts we announce that Jack Stanford, Make-A-Wish Hawaii founder and advocate, has passed away last month at the age of 84. As a young man in the United States Navy, and later as a leader in the Hawaii insurance industry, Stanford had always been passionate about giving back to his community.
In 1982, Stanford founded the Make-A-Wish Hawaii chapter and worked out of his office on Merchant Street in downtown Honolulu. Jack possessed an unwavering belief that Make-A-Wish’s mission was simply too important not to survive and thrive, and his enthusiasm for the cause was contagious. Jack would later go on to found the Make-A-Wish America National office to extend the mission further.
At a time when the Make-A-Wish Foundation was struggling to stay afloat, on numerous occasions, Jack paid National office expenses out of his own pocket to ensure that operations continued.
His generosity and persistence is the reason Make-A-Wish has granted wishes to close to half a million children worldwide. Even as he served as President of the National Board, he continued to frequent Hawaii, making sure that every eligible child across the islands had the opportunity to be touched by a wish.
One of the most beneficial things Jack did for Make-A-Wish was establishing a relationship with the Million Dollar Round Table (“MDRT”), a prestigious organization made up of the most successful insurance brokers in the world. Jack persuaded MDRT to pay for a professionally produced video about a child’s wish, which was used to raise funds and awareness for Make-A-Wish throughout the country. In addition MDRT donated $50,000 to Make-A-Wish in 1985, which was by far the largest major gift the Foundation had ever received. Numerous MDRT members were so inspired by Jack’s passion for Make-A-Wish that they signed up as volunteers and, in some cases, went on to establish chapters or affiliates in their local area.
“Jack Stanford’s legacy will continue to inspire hope and strength amongst people across the globe for years to come. In Hawaii alone, he has forever changed the lives of more than 13,000 wish kids, their families and each volunteer and community member that’s ever been part of a wish come true,” said Make-A-Wish Hawaii President and CEO Siana Hunt. “We will continue to honor his memory by carrying on the work he loved so much and continuing to transform the lives of children with critical illnesses.”
About Make-A-Wish® Hawaii: Since 1982, Make-A-Wish® Hawaii has granted life-changing wishes to over 13,000 wish kids and their families. The Hawaii chapter is among the busiest in the nation as it not only grants wishes to keiki on all islands, it also coordinates and hosts the wishes of children from around the world who wish to see Hawaii.
The Make-A-Wish Hawaii chapter aims to grant the wish of each and every Hawaii child with a critical illness, and each year the power of a wish extends beyond the children served, into communities at large. With more than 700 volunteers and more than 200 business partners statewide, wishes spark imagination and deliver strength, transforming the lives of all who are involved.
To learn more about Make-A-Wish Hawaii, visit www.hawaii.wish.org or call 808-537-3118.