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Inspired to aspire

Motivated by the courage of one St. Jude patient, an Arizona company embraces the Give thanks. Give hope.™ campaign.

by Amanda McGee Robbins

For the associates of Arizona-based Fry’s Food Stores, supporting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital started with one child. They were deeply moved by an Arizona Republic story about an Arizona teen receiving brain tumor treatment at St. Jude.

“Her personal story touched many hearts,” said Jon Flora, president of Fry’s. “We were inspired by her courage and bright personality. And we were touched by her family’s commitment to find a cure and support her.”

The story inspired the employees to learn more about St. Jude, which progressed to a desire to do more to support the hospital’s mission.

Give thanks. Give hope.Fry’s had been involved as a sponsor in local St. Jude fundraisers: with the Stars of Hope–Handbags for Hope Luncheon in Scottsdale and with Country Cares for St. Jude Kids® radiothons in Cottonwood, Yuma and Flagstaff. But, with renewed enthusiasm, Flora and his associates made the commitment in 2010 to bring the Give thanks. Give hope.™ campaign into Fry’s 121 stores.

Now in its third year, the annual campaign spans the months of April and May, when patrons at participating businesses, such as Fry’s, can purchase a $1 pinup or add a donation to their purchases at the register. One hundred percent of the proceeds benefit St. Jude.

“We are so thankful for our generous partners’ support of the annual Give thanks. Give hope. campaign,” said Richard C. Shadyac Jr., CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising organization for St. Jude. “Each dollar donated by customers of these businesses helps in the fight to find cures for cancer and other deadly childhood diseases so that children in communities everywhere will have a second chance at life.”

The opportunity to provide hope to children battling cancer and other deadly diseases is a strong motivator for all the employees of Fry’s, including senior management. To help inspire his team, Flora held a contest during the campaign, in which the top fundraiser got to trade jobs with Flora for a day.

“The reason this worked is that Jon made it fun and helped provide education about St. Jude. His commitment was a key factor in driving the fundraiser,” said Pam Giannonatti, Fry’s community affairs/consumer services manager.

The efforts paid off. In Fry’s first year in the campaign, the company raised $214,000 to support the hospital. In addition to asking for donations in stores, Fry’s associates also held additional fundraisers, from a garage sale to offering root beer floats for St. Jude donations.

“Our associates were thrilled to be able to help the children and know that 100 percent of the proceeds would help give hope to children battling deadly diseases,” Flora said. “By supporting St. Jude, Fry’s and its employees hope to make life a little better for these young patients. Our hope is that the future will be brighter due to St. Jude’s continuing research efforts.”

For more information about Give thanks. Give hope. and for a complete list of all participating retail outlets, visit

Through the Give thanks. Give hope.™ campaign, patrons at participating businesses can purchase $1 pinups, such as the one above, or can add donations to their purchases at checkout. One hundred percent of the proceeds benefit St. Jude.

Promise Spring 2011

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