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A pep in their step: Local school district makes strides for kids everywhere at St. Jude Walk/Run Memphis

Memphis, Tennessee, Oct. 3, 2023

More than 3,500 participants gathered at Tom Lee Park last weekend for the 9th annual St. Jude Walk/Run Memphis, held on the final day of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The runners and walkers represented local and global communities coming together to support research and treatment by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® to improve survival rates for childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases around the world.

Among those communities were 10 teams of students, staff and school leaders from across the Memphis-Shelby County Schools District, the largest public school district in Tennessee. This year marked a reinvigorated collaboration between schools and this event which included a pep rally held the week prior at A. Maceo Walker Middle School, where several students shared their personal experiences with St. Jude to their peers.

“As an educator, I know I feel a close connection to the work St. Jude does: we both serve student families and the community, and care about making a larger impact on kids everywhere,” said Leslie Banks, principal of A. Maceo Walker Middle School. “We hope to inspire more students and staff to be a part of this wonderful event in years to come as a way to uplift others and change lives for the better.”

Download image of Eleven smiling Walk/Run supporters gathered at the grassy field after the event. Eleven smiling Walk/Run supporters gathered at the grassy field after the event.

Staff from A. Maceo Walker Middle School smile prior to the 2023 St. Jude Walk/Run Memphis.

Lining the street on Saturday, Power Center Academy High School cheerleaders danced and waved pom-poms to encourage the crowd, some of them members of the Crosstown High School cross country team, to put one foot in front of the other. Also amongst participants were leaders of 13 St. Jude Global partner foundations from five continents who joined Memphians and participated on a Walk/Run team. The partners received fitness event training to help improve community engagement and revenue raised in their own countries, all for childhood cancer.

“The global movement to cure childhood cancer was beautifully reflected today at the St. Jude Walk/Run with thousands gathered from Memphis to Mongolia and 12 other countries, united together in saving children worldwide” said Emily Callahan, Chief Marketing Officer for ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “It was an honor to be in the incredible new Tom Lee Park and see the soul of Memphis on full display, helping to give kids with cancer everywhere a chance to live their best life and celebrate every moment.”

St. Jude Walk/Run fundraising continues until Dec. 31. Donate to help raise funds that ensure families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food so they can focus on helping their child live.

About St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Its purpose is clear: Finding cures. Saving children.® It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. When St. Jude opened in 1962, childhood cancer was considered largely incurable. Since then, St. Jude has helped push the overall survival rate from 20% to more than 80%, and it won't stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude shares the breakthroughs it makes to help doctors and researchers at local hospitals and cancer centers around the world improve the quality of treatment and care for even more children. Because of generous donors, families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food, so they can focus on helping their child live. Visit St. Jude Inspire to discover powerful St. Jude stories of hope, strength, love and kindness. Support the St. Jude mission by donating at, liking St. Jude on Facebook, following St. Jude on TwitterInstagramLinkedIn and TikTok, and subscribing to its YouTube channel.