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Detroit Gala benefits St. Jude

Memphis, Tennessee, November 25, 2015

Volunteers hand out teddy bears

Volunteers at the annual St. Jude Detroit Gala prepare to hand out teddy bears to attendees during the “Give to Live” portion of the event.

The annual St. Jude Detroit Gala recently raised more than $276,000 to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. More than 400 guests attended the event to help raise funds and awareness for the hospital.

Danny Thomas, the founder of St. Jude, was a Michigan native, and this year’s St. Jude Detroit Gala continued an event that has existed since the 1960s. The event has existed in its current form — a cocktail party and gala dinner with silent and live auctions — since 2012, and has raised more than $1 million.

This year’s gala, which was held at the MGM Grand Detroit on Nov. 13, was presented by William and Hilary Goetz, Ghassan and Manal Saab, and Philip and T. Ardele Shaltz.

A highlight of the evening was the participation of St. Jude patient Jacob, who joined his mother Kerry on stage for the first time at an event as she shared her family’s St. Jude journey.

During the “Give to Live” portion of the gala, where guests donated to St. Jude without bidding on an auction item, large, plush teddy bears were given out by volunteers to each person who raised their paddle to donate any amount of money.

Amy Andrews of FOX 2 Detroit was the gala’s emcee, and the band Sean Blackman’s In Transit performed.

Sponsors for the event included: MAHLE, United Cedars Foundation, Domino’s, the Detroit Pistons, MGM Grand Detroit, Jet’s Pizza, Vintage Wine Company, Armaly Brands, Woodworth, Inc., and the Sessine family.