More than $100,000 raised for St. Jude at ‘Give thanks’ event

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 140 views 

More than 500 people helped raise more than $100,000 on a crisp, breezy Saturday (Nov. 23) for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at the second annual St. Jude “Give thanks. Walk.” at Arvest Ballpark.

“We doubled our walkers and doubled our revenue” compared to last year’s walk, said Scott Hinshelwood, associate director of fundraising at St. Jude. “The folks of Northwest Arkansas really stepped up,” he said.

“This is just one walk St. Jude is having today, right now there are 70 other walks going on,” he said. “People are walking across the Brooklyn Bridge at the same time people are walking around Arvest Ballpark. … We consider this a laid-back 5K, but we can’t stop some from running.”

The teams are responsible for their own fundraising efforts, with some assistance from St. Jude, and some teams raised thousands of dollars. Most teams “just reach out to their friends and family asking for donations,” Hinshelwood said.

Redman and Associates, a Bentonville marketing firm, raised the most revenue, with more than $16,000.

“People kept saying yes,” said Katie Redman, vice president of sales and customer relations. “Everyone came together to make this happen.”

The firm credits its success to email and social media.

Many people who volunteered at the event had a personal connection to St. Jude. Van Sullins was a patient at St. Jude hospital in Memphis, Tenn., when he was two years old, and his cancer has been in remission for 29 years. He volunteers and donates money to give back to the organization that helped him decades ago.

“I volunteer any chance I get,” Sullins said.

“Eighty-one cents of every dollar goes to the current and future needs of the hospital,” Hinshelwood said.

St. Jude is the largest pediatric cancer research center in the world, according to its website.

“All services are free; patients never receive a bill,” said Meredith Perkins, regional event specialist for St. Jude.