More than 100 loyal supporters gathered at the ninth annual St. Jude Palm Beach Dinner for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® on Wednesday, April 11, at Club Colette in Palm Beach. The event supported St. Jude’s pioneering research and lifesaving treatment of kids who are battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases. For the ninth year in a row, Palm Beach Dinner co-chairs were Lourdes Fanjul, Talbott Maxey and Thomas C. Quick.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital treats children from all 50 states, including Florida, and around the world. Because St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists can use that knowledge to save thousands more children.
Each year, the hospital treats about 8,500 children. Pediatric cancer treatments can last up to three years or more and cost an average of $425,000, including housing, travel and food. St. Jude relies heavily on donors to raise the $1 billion each year to run the operation. About half of the families are under- or uninsured.
“We are honored to have been chairs of this event since the beginning,” Maxey said. “Unlike any other hospital, families from St. Jude never receive a bill for treatment, housing, or food because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. We are so grateful to the supporters helping further the mission, especially because the average cost to treat one child with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common form of childhood cancer, is about $300,000, and more than 75 percent of the funding comes from individual contributions.
This year’s event spotlighted the daily No More Chemo parties held at St. Jude. Each patient who completes their treatments will gather with friends, family and care team to celebrate everything they have overcome and look forward to everything that lies ahead. Patients even get to sing the “No More Chemo” song to the tune of the Oscar Mayer bologna song, and no one seems to complain about the daily pile of confetti in the hallways, representing the aftermath of a No More Chemo party.
A young former St. Jude patient, Beckett, shared his journey through childhood cancer. After being treated by St. Jude physicians, Beckett announced the incredible news that he is now cancer-free. The audience listened intently to his story full of hope and optimism.
Dinner guests also received the opportunity to be a part of the “St. Jude Give to Live Society,” a yearlong exclusive membership that recognizes the generosity donors provide to fund groundbreaking research. The money raised will cover such expenses as toiletries for families on up to the price of a major surgical procedure.
Hope and presenting sponsors included Paula and Bob Butler; Star sponsors included the Telesco Family Foundation and the Fanjul Family; Dinner sponsors included David Yurman; Dream sponsors included Janet and Mark Levy; Promise sponsors included The Kessler Family Foundation, Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, Susan Lloyd, Valentino and Club Colette; Table Sponsors included Carole Coleman Manning, Connie Frankino and A. Scott Johnson. St. Jude Benefactors included Florida Crystals Corporation, The Fortin Foundation of Florida, Anthony & Linda Lomangino and Amanda Schumacher.
Philanthropic opportunities to help St. Jude’s mission throughout the year are still available. For more information, contact Barbara Mari at (305) 537-1429 or visit stjude.org/palmbeachdinner.