MEMPHIS, Tenn., Oct. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Detroit-area supporters of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® are revving up for this year's virtual St. Jude Detroit Gala on Tuesday, Oct. 27, an event poised to surpass the million-dollar fundraising mark for a second consecutive year thanks in part to the addition of a special Detroit-themed auction item: The all new First Edition 2021 Ford Bronco.
Open to the public for bidding, the Bronco auction benefiting St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is now live on Charitybuzz, but only until Oct. 29, when this one-of-a-kind, limited edition Ford Bronco will have a new owner, as proceeds from the winning bid will go directly to support the mission of St. Jude: Finding cures. Saving children.® The two-door fully loaded Lightning Blue 2021 Ford Bronco, graciously donated by St. Jude Detroit Gala co-chairs Calvin and Sarah Ford, is already a sell-out with 7,000 reservations placed ahead of its release date. While the Bronco went out of production in 1996, this comeback will mark a new era in the automotive industry, and one lucky St. Jude supporter can secure their place in history as the owner of this sure-to-be collector's item.
Both Sarah and Calvin Ford, the great-great-grandson of Henry Ford, are deeply committed to family, history, and service. For the couple, donating the vehicle presented an opportunity to give back to St. Jude, the hospital that saved Sarah's life when she was a child.
"We decided to donate the Bronco because it is a symbol of the Ford brand of legacy and commitment," Sarah Ford said. "Our hope is that the Bronco will generate thousands of dollars so we can continue to fund the life-saving treatment and research St. Jude does today and will continue to do until children everywhere do not have to lose their lives to cancer."
Existing in various forms since the 1960s, the St. Jude Detroit Gala is continuing the legacy of fundraising started by Michigan native and St. Jude founder Danny Thomas. Over the years, the event has brought together hundreds of donors in person to help ensure that no family receives a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
Additional auction items will be available during the event, including a virtual meet and greet with hockey great Chris Chelios from the Detroit Red Wings, a trip on a private jet, a backstage pass to some of Detroit's top venues and an afternoon of personal styling at Saks Fifth Avenue. More information about the event and the auction packages can be found at www.stjude.org/detroitgala.
While this year's event will be a different experience, attendees joining the streaming event will still see familiar elements such as the auction, a moving St. Jude patient story and the "Give to Live" section. In addition, attendees will hear from Detroit Pistons Head Coach Dwane Casey and George Simon, a member of the ALSAC/St. Jude Boards of Directors and Governors, who will talk about the role Detroit played in the founding of St. Jude. Emeritus ALSAC/St. Jude Boards of Directors and Governors member, Manal Saab, will share the impact the Motor City continues to have on St. Jude and the strides St. Jude continues to make to ensure childhood cancer becomes a thing of the past.
"Detroit holds a special place in our hearts for being the city where Danny Thomas first prayed to St. Jude Thaddeus and vowed to build a shrine in his name," said Richard C. Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "Detroit is rich in history and legacy, and we are deeply appreciative of this passionate community which through several generations since the founding of St. Jude has demonstrated its longstanding commitment to our lifesaving mission."
The legacies of Ford Motor Company and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, two iconic institutions that have changed the world through innovation, have come full circle with descendants from both organizations' founding members taking the lead in Detroit to ensure Thomas' dream that no child die in the dawn of life is realized.
Simon, whose father was a founding member of the St. Jude board, served as the Detroit Gala's chair for several years and is currently on the Boards of Directors and Governors. Manal Saab has been instrumental in growing the St. Jude Detroit Gala over the years and is an emeritus member of the Boards of Directors and Governors. Calvin Ford serves as the current co-chair of the St. Jude Detroit Gala along with his wife, Sarah Ford. ALSAC/St. Jude Professional Advisory Board member Kelle Ilitch is also a member of the St. Jude Detroit Gala committee.
Since St. Jude opened its doors in 1962, it has made a tremendous impact in the lives of children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases in all 50 states and around the world.
Because of events such as the St. Jude Detroit Gala, St. Jude won't stop until no child dies of cancer, sickle cell and other life-threatening diseases.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital®
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Its purpose is clear: Finding cures. Saving children.® It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude won't stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. Join the St. Jude mission by visiting stjude.org, liking St. Jude on Facebook, following St. Jude on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok, and subscribing to its YouTube channel.
SOURCE ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital