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Before the first cornerstone of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was poured—even before ALSAC, the hospital’s fund-raising arm, had raised its very first dollar—there was the Shower of Stars.
Although it would be many years before christened as such, these star-studded shows marked the first major attempts by founder Danny Thomas to raise funds for and build awareness about the hospital he was constructing in Memphis, Tenn.
Beginning in the 1950s, some of the top entertainers of the 50s, 60s and 70s contributed their time and talent to Danny’s Shower of Stars events, including Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Sammy Davis Jr., Dinah Shore, Tennessee Ernie Ford and Wayne Newton.
Now, on April 26, Marlo, Terre and Tony Thomas, the children of Danny Thomas, are bringing the Shower of Stars back for a new generation.
Under the musical direction of David Foster, comedian Robin Williams and musical headliners Marc Anthony, Al Green and Josh Groban will take the stage at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in Memphis, Tenn., in celebration of the 40th anniversary of St. Jude.
In attendance will be some of the country’s top business leaders such as Steve Florio, president and CEO of Conde Nast Publications; Michael Eisner, chairman and CEO of Disney; Ron Meyer, president and CEO of Vivendi Universal; Terry Semel, CEO of Yahoo!; Meg Whitman, president and CEO of eBay; Andy Lack, CEO of Sony Music Entertainment Inc.; and many others.
Co-chairing the gala are four of the nation’s most prominent executives—Barry Diller, chairman/CEO of USA Interactive; Ann Moore, chairman and CEO of Time Inc.; Fred Smith, chairman, president and CEO of FedEx Corporation; and Bob Ulrich, chairman and CEO of Target Corporation.
The day-long event will include a tour of the hospital and research center, briefings by St. Jude’s cutting-edge scientists and an executive discussion led by event co-chairs Barry Diller, Ann Moore, Fred Smith and Bob Ulrich.
“Bringing together such a diverse group of innovative thinkers in an event of this caliber is not only a landmark for St. Jude, but it is the first of its kind for a non-profit organization,” said Marlo Thomas.
Added Tony: “We are proud of the pioneering research and ground-breaking advancements that St. Jude has achieved in these first 40 years. And we know that with the support and ideas that will come out of this day-long event, St. Jude will be able to attain even higher levels of research in the years to come.”
Last update: April 2003