We’re grateful for: ' St. Jude DJ' Van Johnson, who gives fundraisers in Nevada a joyful soundtrack
It was a date night for Van Johnson and Kristal Vega, but she had somewhere to be — a Las Vegas fundraising gala for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
It was a date night for Van Johnson and Kristal Vega, but she had somewhere to be — a Las Vegas fundraising gala for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. It was a personal cause: Her childhood friend had a child being treated at St. Jude. So …
“She asked me would I mind going with her,” Van said. “I had no clue what a St. Jude event was, so I was like, hey, might as well make the best of it, you know?”
Kristal worked the registration table, getting people checked in. Van bought a ticket, began to explore the event and discovered the cause behind it all.
“It touched me, right then and there,” Van said. “I was like, oh my God. I had no clue what was going on with this organization, and now I see everything.”
Then he asked: “How can I be a part of this?”
Kristal said, well, they could use a DJ for the St. Jude Walk/Run in Las Vegas. Van, of course, was a DJ. And so …
“Ever since four years ago, I’ve been DJing for (St. Jude) fashions shows, the poker tournaments, the 5K Walk/Run, everything they needed me for,” said the man now known as the “St. Jude DJ.”
Van’s enthusiasm for life, and the people in it, make it easy to see why he’s a natural DJ. He likes to see people having fun, especially in service to some higher purpose.
And when that happens? When joy meets hope, out there on the dance floor with a favorite song playing, all to benefit the kids of St. Jude?
“It’s darn near spiritual,” he said.