ALSAC honors volunteers, donors

Gift planning advisor Suzanne Klein, and Partners in Hope Mark and Wendy Wilson.

Gift planning advisor Suzanne Klein (left) with Partners In Hope Mark and Wendy Wilson.

ALSAC, the fundraising organization of St. Jude, continued to honor outstanding groups and individuals for their support of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital during the 2011 Volunteer Awards July 31. During the event, ALSAC CEO Richard C. Shadyac Jr. recognized award recipients as kindred spirits of St. Jude founder Danny Thomas. An earlier awards ceremony was held in June.

“Danny used to say that no one stands so tall as those who stoop to help a child,” Shadyac said. “All of these people stand very tall in our eyes. They have embraced our mission in extraordinary ways. And we are grateful to them all.”

The Delta Omega chapter of Tri Delta at Louisiana State University won the Delta Delta Delta Achievement Award. Tri Delta has been a St. Jude partner since 1999 and has raised more than $15 million during that time. Delta Omega has raised more than $83,000 through a variety of events, and its members tutor patients and their siblings at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, the St. Jude affiliate in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

The Jerry Nicholson Award, presented in memory of a St. Jude patient from California who worked to raise money for the hospital, recognized Zachary Thomson, 12, this year. Thomson came to St. Jude in 2005 and underwent eight weeks of radiation therapy for a brain tumor. Today, he is stable with no evidence of tumor growth. In 2008, Thomson and his family launched Putt for Hope, a family-oriented golf event that has raised more than $25,000 for St. Jude in four years.

Mark and Wendy Wilson of Farmington, Connecticut, were honored with the Partner In Hope Award in appreciation of their broad commitment to St. Jude, which includes a generous monthly contribution, as well as a major gift to support the Chili's Care Center in 2007. The Wilsons also started an event called Silver Spurs to benefit the hospital, they participate in the Halloween pin-up program through their business and they sponsor other St. Jude events in their community.

The Memphis Runners Track Club received special recognition during the awards program for its 10th year in support of St. Jude. The group mobilizes more than 2,500 volunteers annually for the 
St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend, which has raised more than $6 million for the kids of 
St. Jude.

The volunteer awards also singled out individuals and groups around the country who give their time to programs such as Trike-A-Thon and the St. Jude Dream Home® Giveaway.

The Trike-A-Thon Coordinator of the Year was Sandy Ellis, who has helped coordinate events for 23 years at Sacred Heart of Jesus School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where supporters have raised more than $60,000 over the years.

Joy Watson of Roanoke, Virginia, was selected as St. Jude Math-A-Thon® Coordinator of the Year for her six years of work at Bonsack Elementary School, where she has helped generate $168,765 for the hospital’s mission.

The Kappa Alpha Psi Sunday of Hope Award went to Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, which has raised more than $72,000 since it began participating in the fundraising program sponsored by the international fraternity in 2008.

The Special Event Coordinator of the Year Award recognized Doug Campbell, who joined four other businessmen in his Montana community to build a website that sponsored five online auctions throughout the year. The group has raised more than $432,000 through their auctions and events.

Gerry McEntee won the St. Jude Hero of the Year Award for his commitment, which has resulted in raising $21,480 for St. Jude through participation in endurance events.

New Orleans was selected as the Dream Home Campaign of the Year. The Dream Home Builder for 2011 was McLain Homes of Lafayette, Louisiana, owned by Bryan and Sylvia McLain. The McLains created a new revenue program called Nails for Hope, which raised more than $60,000 in monetary donations to St. Jude in its first year.

The volunteer awards also recognized three outstanding radio stations as Radio Cares Partners of the Year for 2011:

In addition to volunteers outside the organization, the awards program recognized two employees of ALSAC who have displayed a great commitment to the mission of St. Jude. Leslie Davidson, a senior philanthropic advisor for ALSAC, won the Marilyn Elledge Excellence in Service Award for a dedication to St. Jude that has defined her 27 years at ALSAC. Mike Harber, vice president of facilities management at St. Jude, was recognized with the ALSAC Partnership Award for his constant cooperation with ALSAC in naming opportunities and plaque placement in hospital buildings, as well as in emergency preparedness for facilities.


August 2011