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Attendees meet patients by day,
enjoy star performances by night
A number of the country’s most influential business leaders came together in Memphis, Tenn., on April 26 to show support and learn more about St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The evening, dubbed Shower of Stars, featured entertainment by comedian Robin Williams, singers Josh Groban, Marc Anthony, Lee Ann Womack and legendary R&B singer Al Green at the new Cannon Center for the Performing Arts. Marlo, Terre and Tony Thomas, the children of hospital founder Danny Thomas, were hosts for the day’s festivities, with Marlo and her husband Phil Donahue emceeing the evening show. Other stars in attendance included Natasha Henstridge, Amber Valetta and Deidre Hall.
The event was co-chaired by four of the nation’s most prominent executives—Barry Diller, chair/CEO of USA Interactive; Ann Moore, chair and CEO of Time Inc.; Fred Smith, chair, president and CEO of FedEx Corporation; and Bob Ulrich, chair and CEO of Target Corporation.
During the day, CEOs including Michael Eisner, CEO of Disney; Andy Lack, CEO of Sony Music Entertainment Inc.; Geraldine Laybourne, chair and CEO of Oxygen Network; Ken Lowe, president and CEO of E.W. Scripps Company; Frank Mercado-Valdes, CEO and chair of The Heritage Network; Scott Smith, president and CEO of Chicago Tribune Co.; actor Jim Carrey and many others toured the hospital, meeting with patients and their families.
The CEOs also received briefings from some of the top doctors and researchers at St. Jude. Nobel laureate Peter Doherty, PhD; Bill Evans, PharmD, scientific director; John Cunningham, MD; Julia Hurwitz, PhD; Karen Slobod, MD; and Robert Webster, MD, told the group about the progress St. Jude has made in the battle against childhood cancer and the current efforts to push cure rates even higher.
Harvard University Law Professor Charles Ogletree led an executive discussion with the CEOs at Target House, the home-away-from-home for long-term St. Jude patients. The brainstorming session focused on generating new ideas that could help St. Jude improve its marketing and fund-raising efforts.
“We are extremely grateful to all those who have shown their support for St. Jude by participating in Shower of Stars,” said Marlo Thomas, St. Jude national outreach director. “We look forward to exploring with our new corporate friends new ideas for furthering my father’s dream that ‘no child should die in the dawn of life.’”
Last update: April 2003