On May 12, nearly 600 people took a trip to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Powell, Ohio. Their visit wasn’t just to learn about the world’s wildlife; they were raising funds and awareness for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The supporters were at the zoo to attend the 11th annual St. Jude Discover the Dream event, which raised more than $547,000 for St. Jude. Since its inception, the event has raised more than $4 million, helping to ensure that families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
Jack Hanna, renowned director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, is the honorary event chairman for St. Jude Discover the Dream, and a devoted St. Jude supporter. During a portion of the event, he shared the story of his daughter, Julie, who was diagnosed with leukemia at age 2 and successfully treated at St. Jude in the 1970s. Now in her 40s, Julie shares her father’s love for animals.
While supporting St. Jude was the focus of the event, guests also could enjoy the zoo’s amenities and get a closer look at some of the zoo’s wildlife inhabitants. As guests arrived, they were taken from the zoo entrance to the Water’s Edge Pavilion by golf cart. Once at the pavilion, they were greeted by the appearance of some of the zoo’s animals with the assistance of handlers, reminiscent of Hanna’s famous visits to many late night television talk shows. Guests then proceeded to the silent and live auction portions of the evening.
Sponsors for the event included: R.S. Hanline & Company, Inc.; Schottenstein Property Group; Cedar Enterprises; Huntington Bank; Sedgwick; and Sugardale.