Stewart Rahr Eventually Reveals Why the Make-a-Wish Foundation Means So Much to Him
/By Stanley Green/
Rahr, with a reputation for being one of the United States most generous philanthropists, was the centre of attraction at a recent gallery evening organised by the Make a Wish foundation, with some of America’s leading figures in the world of entertainment and business being present. During the emotion packed evening, a series of celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio, Alicia Keys and Lionel Richie all lavishing praise for his tremendous work on behalf of the organisation and the generous donations that he continues to make.
Stewart Rahr to anyone who is acquainted with him either through his personal life, his business life or his private life will probably have gained the impression that he is a tough character, a plain speaker, blessed with a personality and a heart that is larger-than-life. However those present at the evening held in his honour to recognise the 10 million dollar donation he had recently pledged saw a side of Rahr which they may not have known existed.
The moment came as he responded to a video message presented by President Bill Clinton, who stated that Ra-Ra , as he is nicknamed, was
probably the world’s largest wish-granter. “Your commitment, Stewart, to Make a Wish has been truly inspiring to me.” The former president summed up.
Visibly moved rara responded by revealing a secret from his childhood. A secret that he confessed, until that evening, only a handful of close friends and family members well aware of. That was when a child just 7 years old Rahr was found to be suffering from polio, and had spent three years wearing leg braces as well as having to undergo two hours a day of physical therapy.
There were a few tears in the eyes of the audience when Stuart Rahr recalled his childhood experiences and how they had driven him to make every effort that he could with the facilities that he now had at his disposal to make sure that as many children as possible have no need to suffer the way he did.
“Each day of my life I am guided by the reality, sadly to say, that tomorrow I will have one less day to make a difference in this world, ” Rahr declared.
Stewart Rahr revelations of his childhood illness explain more than anything else his tremendous drive to support the Make a Wish Foundation.
Founded in the United States during the 1980s the Make-A-Wish Foundation is a non-profit organization established on the simple principle to attend to grant wishes to children suffering from medical conditions that have been diagnosed as life-threatening. In order to qualify to be granted their wish, any child between the ages of two up to eighteen, can be deferred by friends or family members to take part in the programme. Ultimately the child’s physician gives the final say on whether a child is eligible to take part in the program.
The Make-A-Wish foundation, which began its life in Phoenix, Arizona, now operates sixty two branches throughout North America as well as in 47 countries throughout the world.
Stewart Rahr was born and raised in the suburb of Queens, in New York, where he combined his high school studies by helping out his father in theirfather’s retail pharmacy situated in Brooklyn. After completing high school, Rahr to study at New York University graduated with a B.A. after which he went off to study law at New York University Law School. However the lure of the pharmaceutical industry proved too strong and Rahr put his studies on hold, preferring to help his family run the expanding family business.
The side of the business that held more interest for the young Rahr was the wholesaling side that acted as a supplier for a number of other pharmacies in and around New York. Rahr decided to his redoubtable energies on expanding this side of the business. He enjoyed tremendous success eventually establishing a separate company to deal with the family’s now considerable wholesale operation, which traded under the name of Kinray Inc.
By 2010, Rahr had grown to such an extent that they served the needs of 4000 pharmacies in the North Eastern United States with annual turnovers of more than $5 billion. Enough to attract the attentions of pharmaceutical giants Cardinal Health who happily paid Rahr $1.3 billion for the company.
Apart from being the most generous individual donor to the Metro New York chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, with his 2013 $10 million donation being the largest contribution in the organisation’s history, Rahr has also displayed his rare generosity to a number of other worthy causes.
In 2012, Rahr donated the sum of $640, 000 the Israel Cancer Research Fund, making for the single largest source of private funds for cancer research ever made in Israel.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy which devastated a lot of the eastern seaboard, Rahr particularly active first donating $100, 000 to the Salvation Army as well as an additional $50, 000 to subsidise repairs to the badly damaged Russian American Jewish Experience (RAJE) building in Brighton Beach which had also been severely damaged during the hurricane.Read more about: Alicia Keys and Lionel Richie, Arizona, Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, Cardinal Health, Hurricane Sandy, Israel Cancer Research Fund. the Salvation Army, Kinray Inc, Leonardo DiCaprio, Make a Wish foundation, new york, New York University, Phoenix, President Bill Clinton, Queens, Russian American Jewish Experience, Stewart Rahr