MEMPHIS, Tenn., Nov. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Football legend and new host of LIVE with Kelly and Michael, Michael Strahan and Emmy® and Golden Globe award-winning actress, Sofia Vergara join the star-studded community of prominent personalities lending their time and talents in support of the St. Jude Thanks and Giving® campaign. The campaign, now in its ninth year, asks consumers to give thanks for the healthy kids in their lives, and give to those who are not.
Starting Thanksgiving week, celebrities will join Marlo Thomas, National Outreach Director for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital®, and be featured in national television spots and in movie theatre trailers alongside St. Jude patients. Returning to the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign this year are long-time celebrity friends, Jennifer Aniston, Robin Williams, Shaun White and Luis Fonsi.
Since St. Jude opened in 1962, the entertainment community has played a pivotal role in raising awareness and funds for St. Jude.
"There is no place like St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and to be a part of this year's St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign is humbling and inspiring," said Sofia Vergara. "As a mother and a cancer survivor, I am touched that St. Jude's research and treatment strives to save every child battling cancer and other deadly childhood diseases across America and around the world."
"Hanging out with the children and being a part of the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign is a highlight of my year," said Michael Strahan. "St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is a remarkable place – it takes on the hardest cases and no family ever pays St. Jude for anything. I challenge all my fans to support St. Jude this holiday season and beyond to help give these kids another chance to celebrate life."
Created in 2004 by Marlo Thomas and her siblings Terre and Tony, children of founder Danny Thomas, the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign was developed to raise awareness and funds for St. Jude amidst the celebration of the season of giving. Throughout the months of November and December, consumers are asked to shop at companies that display the St. Jude logo and make a donation at the register or purchase specialty items that benefit St. Jude. Consumers are also invited to donate online at stjude.org or by phone at 800-4STJUDE.
Since 2004, the campaign has raised more than $312 million. Funds raised through the campaign support the St. Jude mission of finding cures for children battling cancer and other deadly diseases through research and treatment, and impact the lives of children in communities across the country and around the world, as St. Jude openly shares research discoveries directly with doctors and scientists everywhere.
"Fifty years ago, my father brought together his friends from the entertainment community to help raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and we are truly moved that this tradition continues decades later with the support from Jennifer, Robin, Shaun, Luis and now Sofia and Michael as well as many others during the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign," said Marlo Thomas. "Thanks to their dedication, we are able to raise funds during the holiday season to offer families hope during some of their darkest times."
The national television spots will air on network and cable television broadcasts, as well as online, in both English and Spanish. Celebrities will also be featured in a 60-second movie trailer that will appear in theatres nationwide – including Regal Entertainment Group, Cinemark, Carmike Cinemas, among others – as well as on American Airlines and Delta Air Lines flights. All of the spots, as well as exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, will debut at stjude.org on Nov. 16.
In addition to the celebrities in campaign spots, St. Jude Thanks and Giving also receives support from celebrity friends like Elisabeth Rohm, Geoff Stults, Jennette McCurdy, Daisy Fuentes, Rachael Leigh Cook, Juanes, Mike Wolfe, Paulina Porizkova, Lily Aldridge, Nathan Kress, Peyton List and Olivia Holt, who will raise awareness through social media, event attendance and more.
"I love being a part of the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign. It's a great way for me to help give families the hope and strength they need to help their children fight the battle for their lives" said Jennifer Aniston. "It was so much fun being with my new friends Mae and Bailey to film our commercial this year. These children are such an inspiration to me."
"I look forward to laughing and hanging out with the patients from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital each year like I did with Brennan," said Robin Williams. "I'm honored to be involved in the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign each year and to be part of this team that is helping to save the lives of children in communities across America."
"I enjoy spending time with the kids at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital; I leave feeling humbled and thankful for what's really important in life," said Shaun White. "It's an honor to be a part of the St. Jude family."
"For the past seven years, I have had the privilege and honor to support St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and its precious boys and girls who come to the hospital to receive the treatment they desperately need," said Luis Fonsi. "This noble cause allows me to lend my voice to motivate people around the world to support its lifesaving efforts and it's with great privilege that I call St. Jude, my family."
About St. Jude Thanks and Giving:
Since opening in 1962, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has changed the way the world treats pediatric cancer and other deadly diseases. No family ever pays St. Jude for anything, and for every child treated at St. Jude, thousands more have been saved worldwide through shared research. The St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign unites a diverse group of leaders in media, retail, restaurants, travel, and hospitality with one goal during this busy time of year – give to help them live. Participating partners include: Kmart, CVS/pharmacy, DICK'S Sporting Goods, Kay Jewelers, Williams-Sonoma, Inc, ANN INC., Domino's Pizza, AutoZone, Target, New York & Company, GNC, Gymboree, HSN, Dollar General, Brooks Brothers, Old Navy, The Melting Pot,and many more. To learn more about the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign visit, www.stjude.org.
SOURCE ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital