OUR INSPIRATION

Our daily inspiration will always be twelve year old Jessie Rees. Her heart to help other kids fighting cancer back in 2011 as she was fighting terminal cancer is what started this tidewater of compassion and sustains us today.

OUR MISSION

Encourage every kid fighting cancer to Never Ever Give Up!

We fulfill our mission by CONNECTING with families, bringing AWARENESS to their stories, offering them a network of helpful RESOURCES and sending the entire family continual doses of ENCOURAGEMENT throughout their journey.

OUR VISION

The long term vision of the Jessie Rees Foundation is to become a national symbol of HELP and HOPE in the childhood cancer space, so every kid fighting cancer and their family have the support, encouragement and resources to fight!

OUR MISSION

Encourage every kid fighting cancer to Never Ever Give Up!

We fulfill our mission by CONNECTING with families, bringing AWARENESS to their stories, offering them a network of helpful RESOURCES and sending the entire family continual doses of ENCOURAGEMENT throughout their journey.

OUR VISION

The long term vision of the Jessie Rees Foundation is to become a global symbol of HELP and HOPE in the childhood cancer space so every kid fighting cancer receives one of Jessie’s JoyJars and is encouraged to NEGU during their courageous fight.

OUR HISTORY

2011

Jessie is diagnosed with cancer on March 3rd and decides three weeks later to help other kids that are fighting cancer. CBS News follows Jessie’s story. The first JoyJars are stuffed and the term “NEGU” (knee-goo) is born.  The foundation is founded and the first NEGU Golf Classic is held. Both “JoyJars” and “NEGU” receive trademark protection.

2012

Jessie earns her angel wings on January 5th.  Over 5,000 people attend her celebration of life service.  Jessie receives the Lady Diana Award and is recognized by CNN as Young Wonder. The first Gala is held and essential seed funds are raised to keep Jessie’s legacy moving forward. The JoyFactory moves out of the Rees’ garage. Anthem becomes first corporate sponsor. Kaitlin Sandeno becomes National Spokesperson.

2014

Mobile JoyFactory is launched with the support of American Airlines. Jessie’s story gets shared at Elite 11 and inspires top high school quarterbacks like Deshaun Watson to help. ClubNEGU is launched so families can receive monthly encouragement. JoyJars reach kids fighting cancer in all 50 states.

2016

Smartphone app, iNEGU, is launched and supported by top celebrities and athletes like Kobe Bryant, Jennifer Garner, Clayton Kershaw, and hundreds more. The first NEGU Crew is started by Kelyn Rowe with the New England Revolution to help kids fighting cancer have an amazing on-field sports experience.

2017

The Jessie Rees Foundation becomes the beneficiary of the Annual Ava’s Kitchen fundraiser and starts helping families financially during the holidays.  In addition, the Breakaway Adventure program starts to help families create memories.

2018

Panasonic Avionics takes Mobile JoyFactorys global so their employees in Japan, Dubai, London, and Singapore can stuff JoyJars. The NEGU Crew MLS program expands to Sporting KC and FC Dallas. Over $300,000 is given away to help families during the holidays. JoyJars reach kids in over 40 countries.

2019

Bristol-Meyer Squibb hosts the Mobile JoyFactory and sets a record by stuffing 17,500 JoyJars across seven locations in one week. Over $500,000 is given away to help families during the holidays. The foundation surpasses $20,000,000 raised and over 300,000 JoyJars sent worldwide since 2011.

Erik & Stacey Rees

Erik & Stacey Rees

Courageous parents of Jessie 

OUR LEADERSHIP

FOUNDERS Stacey and Erik Rees, Jessie’s parents, are so honored to partner with an incredible team of seasoned corporate executives and talented individuals who help advise, lead and manage the foundation. They truly believe in the principle of teamwork and their “better together” motto.  Stacey leads the programs with an amazing group of staff and volunteers.  Erik partners with the Board of Directors and Board of Advisors to help advance the mission. Together their sole purpose is to reach and resource every child fighting cancer in the world so they have the love, support and, encouragement to NEGU!

Team

Donna Tomlinson

Sr. Director, Events & Communications

Allie Votava

Sr. Director, Corporate Relations and Development

Kristy Chuhaloff

Office & Volunteer Manager

Bobbi Scott

Corporate Engagement Manager

Sheila Baker

JoyFactory Administrator

Jana Perry

Family Resource Coordinator

Shaya Rees

Regional Joy Coordinator

Grant Frum

Community Engagement Manager

Maddie Dilfer

All-Star and Athlete Specialist

Board of Directors

Collie James, Chairman
Partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP
 
Erik Rees, President
Jessie Rees Foundation
 
Layne Lawson, Vice-President
Compensation Committee
Director, Clear Channel Outdoor
 
Lelani Kroeker, Secretary
Compensation Committee
Owner, CLR Marketing
 
Marilyn Henley, Treasurer
Finance Committee
Owner, Hard-Hatt Construction
 
Vince Cook, Member
Finance Committee
CFO, ConcertoHealth
 
Ryan Brizendine, Member
Finance Committee
Director, Westshore Wealth
Erik Baker, Member
Compensation Committee
Owner Operator, Chick-fil-A
 
Scott Belkofer, Member
Governance Committee
VP, Hyundai Capital America
 
Timothy Mulroy, Member
Governance Committee
Managing Partner, Northwestern Mutual
 
Kim Eilber, Member
SVP, U.S. Trust, Bank of America
 
Gary Mazzone, Member
Compensation Committee
Owner, Elite Global Solutions
 
Brent Woodward, Member
Governance Committee
Principal Owner, Performance Lighting Systems

National Advisory Board

Tom Cuce, President of Global Transportation
UPS, Atlanta
 
Jordan Palmer, Founder
QB Summit
 
Bruce Tollner, Founder
Rep 1 Sports
 
Bart Asner, President
Optum Care, California
 
Pam Kehaly, CEO
Blue Cross Blue Shield Arizona
 
Scott Van Vliet, Corporate Vice President
Microsoft, Seattle
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