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The arrival of a new grandchild helped to make Paul and Lynnea Thibodaux faithful donors to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
An occasional donor to St. Jude at the time, Paul said that the new addition to his family made an all-day radio fundraiser for the hospital in 2007 really hit home. The Thibodauxs became monthly donors through the Partner In Hope program and, as they learned more about St. Jude, "we upped our pledge," he says.
Then he and Lynnea chose to make the ultimate gift by revising their will to include St. Jude as the beneficiary of a charitable remainder trust.
"I have grandkids and, thank God, none of them have had any life-threatening illnesses," Paul says. "What I like best about St. Jude is that they share all their information with people all over the world. They are not in it for the money, and they do cutting-edge things that others don't do and can't afford to do."
Paul and Lynnea are now the proud grandparents of four and the parents of two grown children. At 61, Paul plans to retire soon from the construction industry in which he has worked for 40 years. Lynnea retired 10 years ago after a career as a project manager in construction.
Paul and Lynnea love living in Washington, where they enjoy such hobbies as boating, snowmobiling, and horseback riding. They live on a tree farm with their two horses and two beloved Australian shepherds. Although Paul became involved with St. Jude first, Lynnea says, "I was easily brought into loving what they do after hearing about them and reading about them. At a (donor appreciation) luncheon last fall, we learned even more and got to meet one of the patients who had been at St. Jude and was doing so well."
Paul says that hearing such stories "just reinforces why it is a great organization to give money to."
Because of their bequest, Paul and Lynnea are now members of the Danny Thomas – St. Jude Society, as are all donors who remember St. Jude in their estate plans. The Thibodauxs hope to attend the Danny Thomas – St. Jude Society Luncheon in Memphis in the future.