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On July 4, 2006, at its 52nd National Convention in Hollywood, California, Delta Delta Delta (Tri Delta) Fraternity solidified its commitment to caring for children around the country and the world.
Fraternity President Michelle Shimberg along with John P. Moses, CEO of ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and Terre Thomas, daughter of founder Danny Thomas, announced to the 800 collegian and alumnae members in attendance Tri Delta’s plans to raise $7.5 million over seven years to name the Patient Care Floor in the new Chili’s Care Center at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“We are grateful for the major commitment of $7.5 million by Delta Delta Delta," Moses said. "This pledge will be recognized by naming a patient care floor in the Chili’s Care Center. The love and dedication of Tri Delta is truly appreciated by all of the St. Jude patients and their families.”
The Tri Delta Patient Care Floor will contain 18 new inpatient rooms for children and their families. In addition, all combined suites will have an attached parent room with a window into their child's room and, for the first time, a full bathroom with standing shower.
The proximity of the parent and patient rooms on the Tri Delta Patient Floor will give parents comfort that they are close to their children.
Other features of the Patient Care Floor include the hospital’s main pharmacy, two nurse stations, a family lounge, education office, Teen Room and Child Life play area. The Teen Room and Child Life play areas provide space for Child Life Specialists to educate the child on his or her diagnosis through medical therapeutic activities and play.
"On behalf of Tri Delta, I am thrilled to announce our largest philanthropic commitment ever to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, with a pledge to raise $7.5 million over a 5-7 year period,” Tri Delta Fraternity President Michelle Shimberg said. “Our gift indicates our strong support of the hospital's mission of finding cures and saving children, and we are pleased to know this gift will fund the Inpatient Care Floor in the Chili's Care Center. Tri Delta is honored to be part of this important addition to the treatment and care provided through St. Jude, and we look forward to supporting this project with philanthropic dollars raised by Tri Deltas all across the country."
The Tri Deltas wasted no time in their fund-raising efforts. During the convention the students raised more than $15,000 through a bowling fund-raiser at Lucky Strike Lanes. In addition, Terre Thomas was initiated into the membership of Tri Delta.
“I did not go 'active' in a Greek organization in college, so I am very honored that Tri Delta invited me to be a part of their sisterhood,” Thomas said. “It means so much to me that I am a member of the fraternity that has taken my father’s dream to heart. These women have truly dedicated themselves to raising funds for St. Jude so that we can continue to find cures and save children. We live by my father's motto that, 'No child should die in the dawn of life.' It is so appropriate that the letter of my Greek organization is a triangle because it is a strong, unbreakable figure, symbolizing the bond between St. Jude and Tri Delta. The name Tri Delta will be on the walls of St. Jude...and in our hearts... forever.”
Tri Delta first partnered with St. Jude in 1999 and since that time has raised more than $2.8 million. The fraternity completed its $1 million endowment of the hospital’s Teen Room in May of 2005, a full year ahead of schedule. More than 110 Tri Delta chapters across the country host fund-raising events for St. Jude throughout the year.