Father’s Day is a time for celebration, but for many of us, it is also a time for reflection.
As this special day comes around, I think about my own father and the extraordinary example he set for me and my brother. My Dad, Richard C. Shadyac Sr., was a Justice Department lawyer in 1958 when he received a call from Danny Thomas to help realize his dream of opening a children’s research hospital that would treat all children regardless of race, religion or ability to pay. Dad committed the rest of his life to raising funds and awareness for St. Jude, serving as a board member for decades, and as ALSAC CEO from 1992 to 2005. It is remarkable to reflect on all that I learned from Danny Thomas and my father about the importance of helping others.
I also think about the inspiring St. Jude patient fathers I have met, dads who day-after-day demonstrate incredible courage. I am humbled by the lessons I have learned from these remarkable fathers as I seek to be the best possible father to my own daughter and son.
I am so thankful for all of you who support these dads and their families and the ongoing work of St. Jude. Your generosity means these families hopefully will celebrate many more Father’s Days together.
Please know, your support is truly important all year round. In just the past week, St. Jude donors, volunteers, corporate partners and golf fans all came together for the one-of-a-kind FedEx St. Jude Classic. This golf tournament, a stop on the PGA TOUR, is a highlight for the City of Memphis, and has raised more than $30 million for the kids of St. Jude since 1970. It’s also been named the PGA Tournament with the Best Charity Integration by the PGA TOUR. Congratulations to Daniel Berger for his spectacular win at this year’s tournament.
This tournament and our work would not be possible without the continued support of FedEx, the title sponsor of the tournament and a long-time partner of St. Jude. In fact, FedEx also is donating $1 million to St. Jude on behalf of this year’s reigning FedExCup champion.
I also applaud our good friend and talented entertainer, John Rich, who hosted fellow musicians and entertainers for the fifth anniversary of the St. Jude Presents John Rich and Friends evening that is now a signature part of tournament week.
But Memphis wasn’t the only city highlighting the lifesaving mission of St. Jude in recent weeks. St. Jude supporters came together at record-setting events including the FedEx St. Jude Angels and Stars Gala in Miami, St. Jude Four Stars of Chicago Restaurant Extravaganza, Noche de Esperanza (Night of Hope) in Dallas and Discover the Dream, hosted by St. Jude parent and noted animal expert Jack Hanna, in Columbus, Ohio. The generosity of so many is astounding.
To everyone who participated in these and other events in communities across the country, thank you for supporting the kids of St. Jude and ensuring that families will never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food, so all a family has to worry about is helping their child live. As a father, and on behalf of all the fathers and father figures who fight hard every day to give their children their best chance at life, I thank you.