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MEMPHIS, Tennessee (November 9, 2011) – With retailers now sporting full holiday regalia and the dizzying holiday season in full swing, people across the country are preparing for festive family feasts and parties with co-workers and friends. But before you cut into your turkey this year, gather up your family and friends and head out to a local St. Jude Give thanks. Walk.™, a family friendly 5K walk that takes place in 80 cities nationwide on November 19 to benefit the lifesaving mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, one of the world’s premier centers for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other deadly childhood diseases.
Across the country on that day, people will join St. Jude patient families, survivors, corporate partners, local personalities and thousands of other St. Jude supporters to celebrate and "give thanks" for loved ones and help raise funds for the lifesaving mission of St. Jude. The walks take place in a variety of exciting locations including sports stadiums, malls, zoos, national landmarks and even across the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. New York City walkers will get a special treat as they walk alongside the grand marshal for the event Katharine McPhee, the star of the upcoming NBC show Smash.
“I had the chance to spend some time at St. Jude over the holidays last year,” said McPhee. “It holds a special place in my heart because all the kids you meet there are such an inspiration. I hope that people across the country will hit the pavement with their friends and family members this year to help these kids get the lifesaving care and treatment they need.”
Walks across the country are designed to be an event that the whole family will enjoy and several will feature special guests and local personalities. History Channel’s American Pickers star Mike Wolfe and his Antique Archaeology-Nashville crew will rally his fans to donate to St. Jude in support of his participation in the Nashville Give thanks. Walk. Disney stars Elise Neal (A.N.T. Farm) and Adam Irigoyen (Shake it Up) will join walkers at the Los Angeles event. Those heading out to the Detroit walk may pick up a few fitness tips from Biggest Loser season seven winner Helen Phillips and popular Hispanic actress Angélica Vale will walk side-by-side with walkers in Miami.
The St. Jude Give thanks. Walk. provides walkers of all ages and fitness levels with the opportunity to participate in a fun, budget-friendly activity that also has a lifesaving mission. Registration is free and walkers are encouraged to recruit a team of family, friends, co-workers and neighbors to walk and raise money for St. Jude. Participants set a personal fundraising goal and ask sponsors to make donations for their team’s efforts. All fundraisers can earn exciting incentive prizes at the $35, $100 and $250 levels. The walk is nationally sponsored by New York & Company, Brooks Brothers and AutoTrader.com.
As the official kickoff event to the St. Jude Thanks and Giving® campaign, the walk is perfectly timed to have people out and about for all their holiday shopping needs. The Thanks and Giving campaign asks people to support St. Jude and “give thanks for the healthy kids in your life, and give to those who are not” by shopping at more than 60 participating partners where the St. Jude Thanks and Giving green magnifying glass logo is displayed. Many of the St. Jude Give thanks. Walk. events take place at malls or shopping centers with Thanks and Giving partner locations.
About St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering research and treatment of children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. The hospital’s research has helped push overall survival rates for childhood cancer from less than 20 percent when the institution opened to almost 80 percent today. It is the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children, and no family ever pays St. Jude for care. For more information, go to www.stjude.org and follow St. Jude on www.facebook.com/stjude and www.twitter.com/stjude.