When Danny Thomas opened the doors to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in 1962, it was the result of many individuals who were so inspired by his dream that it became their own. That was the brilliance of Danny’s leadership.

City leaders were appointed to organize a variety of fundraisers, including dinners, golf tournaments and the hallmark “Danny Thomas Teenage March.” In this event, teenagers in cities across America marched door to door to raise funds for St. Jude. Cities became friendly competitors and couldn’t wait to announce their results at their annual fundraising convention.

Today, ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude, continues to launch programs nationally that are successful locally as a result of inspired individuals. Every year, more than a million volunteers support some 31,000 fundraising activities on behalf of St. Jude—from Math-A-Thons and Trike-A-Thons to golf tournaments, radiothons and celebrity-filled galas.

And thanks to the generosity of millions of donors from virtually every community across America, St. Jude continues to lead the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other deadly diseases.

From an annual operating budget of approximately $1 million in 1962 to an operating cost of $2 million per day, ALSAC relies on its volunteers and donors to continue to meet the needs of St. Jude scientists and doctors to find the cures that save children’s lives, and to ensure that no family ever receives a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.


April 2014