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St. Jude patient Alyssa, age 13, melanoma, with ALSAC CEO Richard C. Shadyac Jr.

Summer celebrations

ALSAC President and CEO Richard C. Shadyac Jr. celebrates the volunteers and donors who never stop supporting St. Jude, even during summer.

Summer is a time of celebration, when many children across the U.S. enjoy an end to the school year and celebrate time off with their families. The kids of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital are no different.

Thanks to the support of our wonderful donors and volunteers, we watched as 16 young St. Jude patients recently celebrated the advent of summer and the next step in their academic careers by graduating from kindergarten in the St. Jude School Program. Dressed in white caps and gowns, our youngest scholars received diplomas in an annual ceremony that is so meaningful to St. Jude families and staff.

These once-in-a-lifetime moments are possible because of extraordinary people like you who support St. Jude year-round.  Even during the summer break, our St. Jude supporters never stop. Through your incredible generosity, you truly bring to life a philosophy expressed so well by the late heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali: “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”


Without the dedication of our volunteers and fundraisers, St. Jude would be unable to provide exceptional care for our patients — or to recognize their achievements in ceremonies like our kindergarten graduation. I was especially delighted to show our appreciation to some of these amazing supporters at the Volunteer Awards Dinner in June. Volunteers like the late Timothy Driscoll Sr., of Torrington, Connecticut, whom we recognized with a Legacy Award for founding the St. Jude Torrington Telethon in 1979 — an event that has raised $1.5 million over the years.  His passion for our mission inspired an entire community to support the kids of St. Jude. His family, who accepted the award in his honor, is continuing the telethon that is now a Torrington tradition.

Some of our most devoted supporters are college students, and nearly 200 of them from across the U.S. take time every summer to come to St. Jude for a first-hand look at our lifesaving work and the opportunity to learn about leadership and how to support St. Jude. I look forward every year to welcoming them here as their energy, enthusiasm and commitment are truly remarkable.

Here at St. Jude we are so blessed that people of all ages and from all walks of life support our mission: Finding cures. Saving children.®  As you relax and recharge during this summer season, please know how much your continued support means to the kids of St. Jude.

You, too, can make a difference for St. Jude kids. 

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