IT WAS A REMARKABLE WEEKEND. ST. JUDE UNVEILED A BUILDING CALLED THE MARLO THOMAS CENTER, AND HILLARY WAS THERE TO HELP HER CUT THE RIBBON.
|TONY THOMAS AND TERRE THOMAS LISTENING IN TO MARLO AND HILLARY|
It may have been 40 degrees in Memphis, but family and best friends all showed up for this great honor for Marlo. Ever since her father, Danny Thomas, died, Marlo has stepped in as the public face of St. Jude and has raised hundreds of millions of dollars. And, Tony and Terre are right there with her working constantly. To me, St. Jude is the most important charity in the world. "No child should die in the dawn of life," said Danny Thomas when he founded it. What makes St. Jude so incredible is that the sick child and his or her family pay absolutely nothing for the treament. And they get airfares as needed and housing and meals in dorms for them on the campus of St. Jude.
St. Jude is a research hospital and it has all but eradicated certain kinds of childhood cancers, and their cure rates rise each year. The recently purchased a $200 million radiation probe machine designed for children with a pin-point beam to hit the tumors. Every where you go in St. Jude there are extraordiary doctors explaining everything to you, and, most importantly, St. Jude shares all its information wtih any doctoror hospital needing help. They don't try to get patents and make its information hard to get.
Tony Thomas, in his introduction, started all of us crying when he mentioned how much he hoped his father was there seeing all of this. Hillary and Marlo joined in the crying, as did all of us. Hillary, in her speech, talked about the Thomas Family, their caring and dedication, and the wonderful healthcare model they've created. Marlo spoke so eloquently about her love for St. Jude and the children. "I have held a dying child in my arms. I know what these brave families go through. It is such an honor that I can do this work to help."
Jason Weinberg, Gloria Steinem, Kathie Berlin and me
|The actual ribbon cutting was such a happy occasion for the family.|
After the ceremony we went into the building for lunch.
|Phil gave a welcome speech|
|Marlo's birthday was the day after the Center opened so we celebrated early|
|Marlo's quote above the timewall|
|One of the Conference Rooms|
|The Marlo Thomas Ladies Room. Gorgeous. You can tell a lot about a building by the bathroom|
Lest we not forget, the first building at St. Jude is the Danny Thomas Building.
Below is a shot of the main hall where flags of all the countries St. Jude helps are hanging
Also inside that building :
THE NIGHT BEFORE THE UNVEILING, MARLO GAVE A PARTY AT FLIGHT RESTAURANT for friends and family. Flight is in an old, restored building, and they have a really cool brick basement where the party was. We all know wine flights, of course, but the restaurant has flights for each course--three starters, three entrees and three desserts perperson!
|Me, Marlo, Susan O'Connell, Camille Byrne|
|Niece and nephew Mackenzie Donahue and Connor Donahue|
|Kevin Donahue, Reed Donahue and Connor|
STAYED TUNED FOR PART TWO: MEMPHIS