The fifth annual Around the World with St. Jude gala took place April 8 at the Tampa Marriott Waterside in Tampa, Florida. The 500 guests who attended raised $363,427, helping to ensure that families never receive a bill from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
In its five-year history, the gala has raised more than $1 million for St. Jude. A highlight this year was Give to Live, which raised over $122,000, an increase of $75,000 over last year.
Another highlight was a special appearance by St. Jude patient Ayden, who moved guests with his speech followed by an a cappella version of Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song.”
Event chairs Mike and Gennie Swenson were joined at the gala by committee members, and Gennie’s parents, Tom and Holly Malouf, and St. Jude board member Dr. Christopher George. The night’s emcees were Denis Phillips and Wendy Ryan of WFTS-TV.