The 12th annual St. Jude Discover the Dream gala, held May 18, 2017, at the Columbus (Ohio) Zoo and Aquarium, raised more than $700,000. Since its inception in 2005, the gala has raised $5.1 million to help 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.
This year’s gala recognized the life and legacy of long-time St. Jude supporter Joseph Karam, who passed away in April. In honor of their father’s work on behalf of St. Jude for more than 60 years, Karam’s four children — event co-chair and ALSAC board member David Karam, event co-chair Lisa Khourie, Jim Karam and Suzanne Meyers — were presented with the inaugural St. Jude Spirit of the Dream award. The presentation was made by Richard C. Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude. The family continues its support of St. Jude through their father’s in memoriam donation page.
Jim Tressel, president of Youngstown State University, served as honorary chairman of the event. He rallied the Ohio State University Buckeye-loving crowd of nearly 700, sharing why he believes it’s important to support St. Jude. The event’s presenting sponsor was R.S. Hanline & Company, Inc., and emcee for the evening was on-air personality Boxer from iHeart Country radio partner 92.3 WCOL.