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Chicago gala reaches milestone

Memphis, Tennessee, May 23, 2016

St. Jude Four Stars of Chicago Restaurant Extravaganza

A St. Jude supporter receives a sampling of food at the St. Jude Four Stars of Chicago Restaurant Extravaganza.

The annual St. Jude Four Stars of Chicago Restaurant Extravaganza surpassed a major fundraising mark on May 3 at the Sheraton Grand Chicago.

After raising $995,000 at this year’s event, the gala has now raised more than $10 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital since its inception 22 years ago, helping ensure 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.

"It's remarkable that this annual event has grossed more than $10 million in its existence,” said Joseph G. Shaker, co-chair of the St. Jude Four Stars of Chicago Restaurant Extravaganza, and member of the ALSAC/St. Jude Boards of Directors and Governors. “The success is a true testimonial of the dedication of tens of thousands of St. Jude supporters who have attended the event and a dedicated committee driven to raise money and awareness of our sacred mission."

The nearly 900 St. Jude supporters at the gala sampled food from 25 of Chicago’s top restaurants, with chefs donating their time and culinary efforts to the event. Other activities included live and silent auctions.

A highlight of the evening was an appearance by St. Jude patient Mary Browder, who shared her story of being treated for high-risk Hodgkin lymphoma at St. Jude.

St. Jude is more than just a hospital,” Mary Browder said. “It’s a place where everyone cares about you, not because it’s in their job description, but because they want to.”

Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since it opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate to 90 percent, and won’t stop until no child dies from cancer.

Sponsors for the gala included: Coyote Logistics; The Shaker Family Charitable Foundation; Soren Schroder; BMO Harris Bank; Clear Lam Packaging  Inc.; Ann Danner and Kevin Dwyer; Kevin and Maria Adam; Irene and Irv Barr; Joseph G. Bisceglia and Jenner & Block L.L.P.; Mary and Patrick Leone; The Page Family; Presidio/Cisco; RJ O’Brien/The Corcoran Family Foundation; and Caesar Tabet, Kathy Smith and Tabet DiVito & Rothstein LLC.