New Initiative Aims to Pay for One Day’s Operational Costs of the Hospital – $2 Million
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Sept. 16, 2014) – Beginning this October, Varsity All Star will be joining the Team Up for St. Jude campaign to help raise enough money to run St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® for a day – $2 million. Varsity Spirit created the campaign three years ago to help St. Jude find cures and save children battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
Varsity Spirit has raised more than $1.5 million since 2011 through a similar program with the cheerleaders and dancers who attend Varsity summer camps. In July 11 All Star gym owners and athletes were invited to Memphis, Tennessee, where they served dinner at St. Jude Target House, a long-term living facility for St. Jude patients and families; toured the hospital and helped brainstorm ways the All Star industry could help pay to operate St. Jude for a day.
Thanks to the collaborative effort of the St. Jude Advisory Panel and St. Jude staff, Varsity All Star designed a program to encourage athletes to support this goal and help make it a success. The All Star community is energized to invest and commit their time to the effort to help St. Jude increase overall cancer survival rates.
“From the gym owner perspective, I think it’s important that we get involved with St. Jude,” said Brett Hansen, owner of Spirit of Texas, an all star program in Arlington, Texas. “We have to teach our athletes from a young age that they’ve got to give back. It’s important for the all star gyms to get involved with St. Jude because we are a tight community and this is a new way to work together to try to get some kids who aren’t healthy back on their feet and healthy again.”
More than 2,000 All Star gyms across the country will be encouraged to Team Up for St. Jude through fundraising efforts organized by their coaches, athletes and parents within their gym. All Star gyms that register will receive a free fundraising kit that includes table tents, balloons, posters and an exclusive “Our Gym Proudly Supports St. Jude” banner. They can track the money they raise on an online fundraising website provided by St. Jude. Gyms have been encouraged to kick-start their Team Up for St. Jude Spirited by Varsity All Star program by hosting a Parents Night Out in their gym on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014.
“We are excited to further our partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by inviting All Star gyms from across the country to join us as we continue our commitment to help fight childhood cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. We share a common goal with St. Jude, centered around our mission to make a difference in the lives of young people. This is an ideal partnership and we are thrilled to work hand-in-hand with St. Jude,” said John Newby, General Manager of Varsity All Star. “Together with All Star gym owners and coaches, we believe we have created a unique fundraising platform to speak to the competitive nature of All Star athletes and ultimately provide more financial support for St. Jude and its families.”
“Varsity All Star’s support and spirit are invaluable to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., president and CEO of ALSAC/St. Jude. “In addition to the more than $1.5 million Varsity cheerleaders and dancers have raised to help St. Jude find cures and save kids, their visits and pep rallies at the hospital have helped lift patient and parents’ spirits as they face some of the most difficult times in their lives.”
All donations will be tracked online through each All Star gym’s page and on www.stjude.org/VarsityAllStar. Teams will be rewarded as they reach certain donation levels throughout the 2014-2015 competition season. More information about this award scale will be released soon.
If you are a gym owner or coach and would like to participate in this program, please fill out this form.