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At its 2005 International Convention, the ladies of Epsilon Sigma Alpha (ESA) announced that their volunteer work for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital during the past year had raised more than $9.7 million in cash and pledges.
The announcement is the crowning event of the festivities of the annual ESA convention, held this year at the Wigwam Resort & Golf Club in Phoenix, Arizona. Terre Thomas, St. Jude Board member and daughter of hospital founder Danny Thomas, served as the keynote speaker of the event.
"When Daddy needed you, ESA was there." Terre Thomas said, "And when the next generation needs you, I know you will be there. That is the heart, the soul—the essence—of ESA."
The announcement brought ESA's cumulative total to almost $90 million in cash and pledges since the organization adopted St. Jude as its charity in the early 1970s. ESA is the largest third-party volunteer organization for St. Jude, which costs approximately $1,027,832 a day to operate. ESA has also endowed the St. Jude Bone Marrow Transplant area, located on the fourth floor of the Patient Care Center and the fourth floor of the Richard C. Shadyac ALSAC Tower.
About 800 ESA members attended the convention that featured a spirit walk; to participate, walkers had to have raised a minimum of $200 prior to the convention. As a result, an additional $110,000 was raised for St. Jude.
Martha Pullen, host of the popular television series Martha's Sewing Room and publisher of Sew Beautiful magazine, also attended the convention as one of ESA's newest members. Pullen was introduced to St. Jude through the annual Hancock Fabrics' Quilt of Dreams promotion, of which her company is now an annual participant.
"ESA is a great friend to the families of St. Jude," said John P. Moses, chief executive officer for ALSAC, the hospital's fund-raising arm, as he addressed the gathering. "Each year, you spend thousands of hours volunteering at events all across the country to raise money for St. Jude and help make a difference in the lives of children suffering catastrophic diseases. The love the ladies of ESA have for children is immeasurable."
This year, patients Raytheon Perry, Matthew Haggerty and Macy Morgan also attended to share their experience at St. Jude with the ladies of ESA.
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