Thousands of Walkers 'Give Thanks' in More Than 60 Cities to Benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital®

Nov 24, 2010, 12:03 ET from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Give thanks. Walk.™ event breaks record with $2.2 million raised

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Nov. 24, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Nov. 20, more than 22,000 people came out in 63 cities across the country to kick off the holiday season by participating in the third annual Give thanks. Walk., a 5k walk that raised $2.2 million to support St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, the nation's top children's cancer hospital.

In just its third year, the event expanded into more than 20 new markets and raised nearly a million dollars more than the previous two year's combined totals. With registration free for this family-friendly event, walkers rallied friends and family members to sponsor them with a donation and national sponsors New York & Company, Brooks Brothers, Window World, and Breitling encouraged nationwide employee participation in the event.

"Everyone who supported Give thanks. Walk. this year – whether you participated in the event or sponsored a participant – will help St. Jude take the next steps in the fight against childhood cancer," said Richard C. Shadyac Jr., CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising organization of St. Jude. "During a time when people all over the country are still struggling financially, the funds raised at events around the country last weekend are astounding and serve as a true testament to the importance of finding cures for these deadly diseases that threaten the lives of precious children. We are so grateful for the supporters and corporate sponsors who have embraced our mission and are inspiring hope for the kids of St. Jude."

Both the Phoenix, Ariz., and Baton Rouge, La., events had the largest numbers with more than 1,000 participants each and Dallas, Texas, was the top fundraising city in spite of it being only its second year hosting an event.

Craig Witsoe is CEO of Lineage Power, a local sponsor of the Dallas event, and father to St. Jude patient Sean, 5, who sadly passed away in April of this year from a cancerous brain tumor.  Craig and the team at Lineage Power, helped start the first Give thanks. Walk. event in Dallas last year. This year, the family and fellow walkers participated in a balloon launch in memory of Sean and all the other patients who have lost their fight against cancer.

"At the first Dallas walk last year, we carried Sean most of the way with our other four children by our side. We told them we were walking to help St. Jude find cures for Sean and other kids like him," said Witsoe. "This year we walked in Sean's memory but also in hope for all of the children, families, doctors, and nurses who continue to fight childhood cancer...this year I think Sean carried us.

"When we told our pastor this year that Sean only had a few weeks to live, he simply gave us a hug and said 'we will walk with you on this part of the journey.' The thousands of people who participated in the Give thanks. Walk on Saturday became a part of every family's journey who is battling this terrible disease. We are forever grateful for their support," he added.  

Give thanks. Walk. helps launch the seventh annual St. Jude Thanks and Giving® campaign. Thanks and Giving brings together celebrities, media, and more than 60 corporate partners to ask consumers to "Give thanks for the healthy kids in your life, and give to those who are not."  This year marks the seventh annual St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign, which begins this week and runs through the end of the year. The Thanks and Giving campaign enlists many of the country's leading brands and most respected businesses to help support the lifesaving work of St. Jude, by raising funds and awareness.

To see a list of participating partners or to learn more visit

About St. Jude

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. St. Jude is the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. Founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the family's inability to pay. St. Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its fundraising organization. In 2010, St. Jude was ranked the most trusted charity in the nation in a public survey conducted by Harris Interactive, a highly respected international polling and research firm. St. Jude was also named the nation's top children's cancer hospital in the 2010-11 Best Children's Hospitals rankings published by U.S. News & World Report. For more information, go to  and follow St. Jude on and

About Thanks and Giving

The St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Thanks and Giving campaign is an unprecedented union of celebrities, media, retail and corporate partners that asks consumers to "Give thanks for the healthy kids in your life, and give to those who are not."  Thanks and Giving was created in 2004 by Marlo Thomas and her siblings Terre and Tony Thomas, children of St. Jude founder Danny Thomas.  Funds raised by the campaign support the lifesaving work of St. Jude – to find cures for children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases through research and treatment.  In the months of November and December, consumers nationwide are asked to shop with companies that display the Thanks and Giving magnifying glass and add a donation at the register or purchase specialty items that benefit St. Jude; donate online at, where a complete list of fundraising partners is available; or call 1-800-4STJUDE.

SOURCE St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital