Upstate New York gala nears $1 million in support of St. Jude

Memphis, Tennessee, September 15, 2016

(From left to right): Paul, Deb, Madeline, Laura and Jake Wein attend the 4th annual St. Jude Gala presented by AngioDynamics in Saratoga Springs, New York.

(From left to right): Paul, Deb, Madeline, Laura and Jake Wein attend the 4th annual St. Jude Gala presented by AngioDynamics in Saratoga Springs, New York.

More than 300 people gathered in early September to celebrate the work of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at the 4th annual St. Jude Gala in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Presented by AngioDynamics, this year’s event raised $276,000, bringing the gala’s lifetime total raised in support of the lifesaving mission of St. Jude to $967,000.

Events like the St. Jude Gala help ensure no family ever receives a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.

This year’s St. Jude Gala honored Paul Wein, a longtime member of the ALSAC/St. Jude Boards of Directors and Governors, and a member of the gala’s event committee. He said the event’s success “means we are raising more money for the thing I love the most in my life. And we are gaining exposure to people who don’t necessarily know the St. Jude story.”

The St. Jude story is extremely personal to Wein, whose son Jake was diagnosed with neuroblastoma when he was 4 months old and referred to St. Jude for treatment. Wein later became a member of the ALSAC/St. Jude Boards, and his son, now in his 30s, does his own fundraising for St. Jude through a golf tournament.

“Looking back, certainly the most horrible thing was hearing the diagnosis that my son had cancer, but yet it turned out to be the greatest blessing in my life,” Wein said. “And that is a pretty remarkable thing.”

At the gala, Wein shared his personal St. Jude story, as well as the stories of four other patients from upstate New York who were treated at St. Jude.

“I’ve already received the greatest honor I can ever receive in my life,” Wein added. “I’ve been allowed to be part of these great boards serving the noblest mission on this planet – the pursuit of Danny Thomas’ dream that no child shall die in the dawn of life. There could be no greater mission.”