Hundreds came out to support the “St. Jude Give thanks. Walk.” on Saturday, Nov. 23 at the Knoxville Zoo; where more than $70,000 was raised. The event started at 9 a.m. and admission and registration was free all day.
The Knoxville community joined together to support the St. Jude Children’s Research Facility; although the hospital is located in Memphis, its support group in Knoxville proved to be strong.
The morning kicked off with complementary breakfast and St. Jude souvenirs handed out by the many volunteer groups, including: Epsilon Sigma Alpha, UT Club Tennis, UT Triathlon Team, UT Leadership and Service Ambassadors, Junior League of Knoxville, and Farragut High School National Honor Society.
Early morning entertainment was also provided underneath the event tent. The Hawks cheerleaders along with a few former St. Jude patients led the excited crowd with cheers and warm up stretches.
Excited walker, Lauren Sanabria, said “I’m having such a great time! It’s for such a great cause and you can really see that from the energy in the crowd. Everyone is so excited to be here and passionate about who’s benefiting from the money!”
St. Jude’s mission is “to find cures for children with cancer and other deadly diseases through research and treatment.” The facility treats children from all over the world for no cost at all to the families. According to brochures handed out at the event, “St. Jude’s research and patient care have helped push overall survival rates for childhood cancers from less than 20 percent when the hospital opened in 1962 to 80 percent today.”
Edited by Jessica Carr