MEMPHIS, Tenn., Dec. 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Kmart has reached an extraordinary milestone – raising more than $100 million for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital®. This amount is more than any other corporate partner in the history of St. Jude.
"St. Jude is deeply appreciative of our incredibly giving friends at Kmart and their kindhearted shoppers and associates for reaching this unprecedented fundraising milestone – raising more than $100 million for the patients and families of St. Jude, more than any other St. Jude partner," said Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "The generosity of the Kmart team and their shoppers is deeply humbling. We cannot thank them enough for the joy they have brought to our patients and families and their commitment to survivorship and quality of life for children fighting cancer and other life-threatening diseases."
To celebrate, Kmart unveiled its new Virtual Experience Recreational Vehicle (V.E.R.V.) – a virtual reality bus designed by West Coast Customs – at St. Jude on Monday, Dec. 12. Patients enjoyed thrilling games and virtual experiences like climbing to the top of Mt. Everest. In addition to the V.E.R.V. launch, festivities included a surprise visit by GRAMMY® award winning singer-songwriter, producer, and actor, NE-YO. St. Jude patients also enjoyed activities such as designing custom air-brushed bandanas, photo booth fun, gift bags full of treats and more.
"We are amazed by the overwhelming support from our Kmart shoppers and associates for their generous giving to St. Jude," said Kelly Cook, chief marketing officer at Kmart. "In honor of reaching this $100 million milestone, we wanted to bring a very special experience to the patients at St. Jude that would virtually transport them into a thrilling land of adventure and excitement, allowing them to escape the realities of their treatment and just be kids."
It is not too late to make a donation to St. Jude this holiday season. Kmart shoppers are encouraged to head to Kmart or Kmart.com to purchase from the suite of gifts, including the popular "Giving Hat," which is embroidered with the inspiring message of #LOVE or make a donation in store at checkout. For more information on Kmart's partnership with St. Jude visit Kmart.com/StJude. Everyone is encouraged to share their support for St. Jude by posting on their social media channels what #LOVE means to them. Tag #Kmart, #StJude, #TheGivingHat and #LOVE, and be part of this amazing $100 million celebration for St. Jude and Kmart.
About 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. 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 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90 percent, and we 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 or following St. Jude on facebook.com/stjude and twitter.com/stjude.
Kmart is making shopping fun again. The retailer, a subsidiary of Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD), is bringing back the iconic Bluelight Specials, hosting Freebie Saturdays and in-store family events for its Shop Your Way members and customers. Kmart offers customers thrilling deals and amazing finds on quality products and exclusive brands including Jaclyn Smith, Joe Boxer, Route 66 and Smart Sense. Kmart's V.E.R.V. coast-to-coast mobile tour, will travel nationwide.
SOURCE St. Jude Children's Research Hospital