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Welcome to the ninth annual

St. Jude Spirit of the Dream

presented by W&T Contracting Corporation

September 21, 2024 | Memphis, Tennessee

Become a Sponsor Purchase Tickets

Patient Kaleb with his parents, outdoors at the St. Jude campus.

St. Jude patient Kaleb with his family


Join us on September 21, 2024 for the ninth annual St. Jude Spirit of the Dream presented by W&T Contracting Corporation at The Guesthouse at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. Guests will celebrate the achievements of African Americans who have made significant contributions to Memphis and beyond while embodying the spirit of the St. Jude mission. This special evening will feature live entertainment, exclusive auction packages and the presentation of the Spirit of the Dream awards. 

All proceeds benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, where families never receive a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food – so they can focus on helping their child live.


Presenting sponsor

St. Jude Spirit of the Dream presented by W&T Contracting Corp.



The Guesthouse at Graceland
3600 Elvis Presley Blvd.
Memphis, TN 38116


Date and Time


September 21, 2024
6 p.m. 

Attire: Cocktail with gold accent


Tickets and Sponsorships


Become a sponsor today! Sponsorship packages include a reserved table, brand recognition and other benefits.

Become a Sponsor Purchase Tickets


St. Jude provides comprehensive care and health equality for children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. We tailor treatment for each child's unique needs, improving outcomes for some of the world’s sickest children.


St. Jude patient Kenadie

Patient Kenadie smiles and makes the shape of a heart with her hands.

Our honorees

AC Wharton.

A C Wharton Jr.
Lifelong Public Leader and Advocate

Wharton is the executive director of development at ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and is the lead principal of The A C Wharton Group, LLC consulting firm. He has served as the mayor of Shelby County and Memphis as well as chief public defender for Shelby County and was a professor of law at the University of Mississippi. During his time in public service and higher education, Wharton focused on legal systems, child welfare, healthcare, fiscal soundness and crime prevention. His clients in the consulting firm include numerous nonprofit agencies. Wharton has contributed to the mission of St. Jude by cultivating relationships with groups and organizations such as Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., Jack & Jill of America, The Links Inc., Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and the National Medical Association. He is a native of Lebanon, Tennessee and a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

Peter Woods throws a cup on a pottery wheel.

Peter Woods
Artist with a Cause

Born and raised in Mound Bayou, Mississippi, Woods is an artist of humble beginnings whose work is now well-known throughout the U.S. He started making pottery when he was just 13, which formed the basis of a lifelong passion. In 1998, Woods and his brothers started Peter's Pottery, a family business creating art that has attracted people from all over the world to Mound Bayou. Family is also at the core of Woods’ connection to St. Jude. His great-nephew has sickle cell disease and is a St. Jude patient. In 2023, Woods committed to raise $100,000 for St. Jude and in December of 2023 he presented a check to St. Jude for the full amount. To date, Woods has raised more than $250,000 for the families of St. Jude, hosting his annual holiday open house since 2017. A dedicated community member, Woods was the past vice president of Bolivar Medical Center and currently serves as treasurer and trustee board member of his church, president of St. Gabriel Mercy Center Board, a member of the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce, a Life Member of the Delta State Alumni Association and a Delta State Foundation Board Member.

Carolyn Hardy smiles while seated on a red leather chair.

Carolyn Chism Hardy
Champion of Business and the Written Word

Memphis-native Hardy is the CEO of Chism Hardy Investments, LLC. She has been the first woman and African American in several positions including a plant manager at J.M. Smucker Company, vice president at Honeywell POMS and vice president of operations at Coors Brewing Company. Her storied career includes starting Hardy Bottling, the largest African American contract packer in the U.S., and Henderson Transloading Services, servicing the largest grain companies and commodity traders in the U.S. Hardy is also a published author of three books who shares her invaluable insights with her fellow members of the African American Engagement Council of ALSAC. A Memphian through and through, Hardy, by way of her family of companies, has invested more than $15 million in the Hickory Hill neighborhood since 2011 to revitalize this majority African American community and provide employment. In 2022, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee appointed her to the Regional Megasite Advisory Board for the Ford Blue Oval project. She has also served her community as current chair of Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and past chair of Methodist Le Bonheur Hospital Systems, Society of Entrepreneurs, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis - Memphis Branch board, New Memphis Institute, Greater Memphis Chamber and Memphis Chairman’s Circle and Soulsville/Stax Foundation.


Become a sponsor

By partnering with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and sponsoring this event, you will align your company name with the strong, nationally recognized St. Jude mission and brand, and instill pride in your employees, consumers, vendors and company executives.

For more information on becoming a sponsor, contact:

Sydney Watson


Our committee

Event Chairs
Darrell Cobbins  •  Angela Richards

Jacqueline Butts  •  Dr. Jara Best-Jones  •  Lionel Davis II  •  Tori Haliburton  •  James Harvey Jr.  •  LaRonda Holmes  •  Joseph McKinney  •  Carl Person  •  Lee Rankin  •  Dr. Bianca J. Sweeten  •  Martin Truitt  •  Loretta Anderson-Webber

Founding Chairs
Jason Farmer  •  Brad and Felicia Robinson


See more stories from St. Jude:

Finding cures. Saving children.® Everywhere.


St. Jude cares for some of the world’s sickest children regardless of their race, ethnicity, beliefs, or ability to pay. Our patients receive the customized care they need to treat childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases, no matter what barriers they may face.


Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped raise the survival rate for children with cancer in the United States, where more than 4 out of 5 children survive cancer. In many developing countries, however, fewer than 1 out of 5 children diagnosed with cancer will survive. We won’t stop until no child dies from cancer, no matter where they live. 


Every dollar makes a difference*

  1. ... could help provide four walkers for St. Jude patients*

    Walkers provide St. Jude patients with stability and support, making it easier for them to walk after surgery.

    Donate $500

  2. ... could help cover about two-thirds of the cost of one day of chemotherapy*

    Treatments developed at St. Jude have helped push overall survival rates for childhood cancers from 20 percent when the hospital opened in 1962 to more than 80 percent today.

    Donate $1,000

  3. ... could help provide an ultrasound study for a St. Jude patient*

    An ultrasound study is among the diagnostic imaging tests that doctors use to diagnose and monitor disease and treatment.

    Donate $2,500

  4. ... could help cover the cost of the daily room rate of the ICU*

    The Intensive Care Unit at St. Jude has twice been recognized with the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence given by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses. In 2009, the St. Jude ICU became Tennessee’s first ICU to win the honor.

    Donate $5,000

  5. Support of our mission

    Any amount supports kids around the world. St. Jude shares the breakthroughs it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save even more children.*

    Donate Any Amount

* Your donation will be used to provide breakthrough research, treatment and cures. Items listed here are representative of services and supplies that are part of the treatment and care of children at St. Jude. The cost of each item or service is an approximation, and will vary based on actual costs incurred and individual patient needs. Your donation will be used for the general operating needs of St. Jude, where no family ever receives a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food.

A gold ribbon that symbolizes awareness of childhood cancer for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

St. Jude and the World Health Organization are joining forces to raise the global survival rate from 20 percent to 60 percent by 2030, because no child - anywhere - should die from cancer.

Let’s cure childhood cancer. Together.  

Learn About Childhood Cancer

St. Jude patient Aspen wears a flower crown and colorful dress and holds her hands to her face.

St. Jude patient Ashtyn with her family


Get involved locally

Click below to find additional events, volunteer opportunities and more ways to connect with St. Jude supporters in Memphis and across the Delta. 

Support St. Jude in Memphis, Mississippi and Arkansas

Full moon above the Seattle skyline.

Other ways you can get involved: