Memphis Grizzlies pledge $5 million

    (Memphis, Tennessee, September 18, 2002)

    The Memphis Grizzlies announced a pledge of $5 million to fund a short-term stay campus residence – Memphis Grizzlies House – for patients and their families at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. This pledge is an expansion of the partnership that was announced between the two organizations in February 2002.

    The Memphis Grizzlies House will be an integral part of the domiciliary care program at St. Jude. The $10 million facility will be located on the St. Jude campus at the corner of Jackson Avenue and Third Street. The residence will provide a home-like environment for patients and families who are undergoing treatment at St. Jude from one to seven days. Out-of-town patients and their families are currently housed in hotels near the hospital for short-term hospital visits.

    “This pledge is an extension of the Grizzlies’ commitment to our St. Jude families,” said Richard Shadyac, national executive director for ALSAC/St. Jude, the hospital’s fund-raising arm. “Their funding of the campus residence helps in our efforts to create a family-friendly atmosphere where these families can come together for support and encouragement. We’re proud to have this great team in our city.”

    The Memphis Grizzlies House will be approximately 70,000 square feet and will be able to accommodate up to 100 families at a time. Sixty-four of the units will be hotel-style rooms for short-term stays and 36 suites will be available for longer stays. The residence will feature recreation areas for common use, including a family room surrounded by an Adult Room, Children Room, Pre-Teen Room and Teen Room. A small fenced playground and a basketball half-court will be located outside of the residence.

    As the only housing facility located on the hospital campus, Memphis Grizzlies House will offer a total St. Jude experience for the patients and their families. There will be no cost to the families staying at the residence.

    “When families come to St. Jude, they are already experiencing a very emotional time,” said Arthur Nienhuis, M.D., director of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “These are families who have left their homes and are temporarily making a new home here at St. Jude. We want their experience at the hospital to be a comfortable one. That’s why the Memphis Grizzlies House is so important. For those families who will be here for shorter periods, we will now have the appropriate facility to provide them the same comforts as our long-term housing facilities.”

    St. Jude currently provides two unique residence facilities for patients and their families based on their expected length of stay. Families under treatment from eight days to three months are housed at Ronald McDonald House, and families under treatment for more than 90 days are housed at Target House.

    The Memphis Grizzlies have already been involved in working with St. Jude. Team members who have actively participated in the partnership include Michael Dickerson, Jason Williams, Pau Gasol and Shane Battier. Through combined and individual efforts, these players have made visits to the hospital and donated game tickets. Battier has also agreed to serve on the Professional Advisory Board for ALSAC.

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