I wish I had a million dollars to give to every charity I cover, and the charities that touch my heart the most are the ones that care for children like tonight’s charity St. Jude’s Hospital.
Wikepedia states that St. Jude was founded by entertainer Danny Thomas on the premise that “no child should die in the dawn of life.” Thomas named the hospital for Saint Jude Thaddeus, the Catholic patron saint of hospitals, desperate cases and lost causes. Thomas was a struggling young entertainer when he knelt in a Detroit church before a statue of St. Jude Thaddeus and asked the saint to “show me my way in life and I will build you a shrine.” [1] Thomas’s prayer was answered, and he soon moved his family to Chicago to pursue career offers. In 1957, Thomas founded the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC), which helped him realize his dream. ALSAC is the fundraising organization of St. Jude. Since St. Jude opened its doors in 1962, ALSAC has had the responsibility of raising the necessary funds to keep the hospital open.All medically eligible patients who are accepted for treatment at St. Jude are treated without regard to the family’s ability to pay. St. Jude is the only pediatric research center in the United States where families never pay for treatments that are not covered by insurance, and families without insurance are never asked to pay. In addition to providing medical services to eligible patients, St. Jude also assists families with transportation, lodging, and meals. Three separate specially-designed patient housing facilities—Grizzly House for short-term (up to two weeks), Ronald McDonald House for medium-term (two weeks to 3 months), and Target House for long-term (3 months or more)—provide housing for patients and up to three family members, with no cost to the patient. These policies, along with research expenses and other costs, cause the hospital to incur more than $1.5 million in operating costs each day. Around $180,000 is covered by patient insurance, the remaining $1.34M/day is funded by charitable contributions.
In 1995, St. Jude received an anonymous letter postmarked Dallas, Texas, containing a $1 million winning game piece from the McDonald’s Monopoly. Although game rules prohibited the transfer of prizes, McDonald’s waived the rule and has made the annual $50,000 installments.

Last year when St. Jude’s had it’s fundraiser in this room, the heavy curtains were drawn. It was great to see them removed and the light of the day flooding the room, and in the evening the city lights ablaze.
Awesome silent auction, most items went at or above their value. I love silent auctions and won nothing, leaving with the same amount I went with sans the $1 left for coatcheck.
Joy Deurovak, Jeanie Torchio (Jeanie Torchio is the senior regional events specialist for the ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She plans and oversees five fund-raising events a year in the mid-Atlantic region) and Erika Speed

Denise Devlin, Heather Hartman & Melissa Donahue. I wonder if Heather won that figurine?
Jon Runyan “I am grateful to be a part of this Philadelphia tradition, said Runyan. “The work they do at St. Jude is so important. Please get involved today and start supporting a truly worthwhile organization. Everyone in attendance is sure to have a wonderful time!” With Kevin and Robert Renna
Betty & John Dove, Ellen and Beth Henry enjoy their 3rd year at the gala. Beth is on a mission to get St Jude’s to do an event in South Jersey to raise funds as she really believes in their mission.
Brett Silver, the Barry Diller of Philadelphia. Look for all his work to appear at

(R) Keili suffered from brain cancer last year and thanked the supporters as she wouldn’t be alive today without their help. Keili’s mom told the story of survivor, many people were in tears, and frankly I almost had to leave the room (thinking of my sister, and Natasha Richardson).The evening will include a taste of some of the finest restaurants the Philadelphia area has to offer, cocktails, and a silent auction. The silent auction is one of the highlights of the evening, raising significant funds and generating tremendous excitement. Pod, Rae, Georges’, Ristorante Panorama, The Oceanaire Seafood Room, Table 31, D’Angelo’s, Saxby’s Coffee (who are looking for a franchieser for the 15th St location), Mission Grille, Public House, Chima, Joe’s Peking Duck, The Night kitchen, Ristorante Panorama, Terranova Wines, Victory Brewing, FIJI Water, The Oceanaire, Osteria and Continental Midtown
High School sweethearts, no but, met again a few years later at a mutual friend from high school’s wedding. Christopher Nork just popped the question to Tiffany 2/27/09 at their favorite restaurant Alma De Cuba. Look for a January 2010 wedding.
The lucky table I got to sit with for the night: guest, a glowing pregnant Carrie Nork Minnelli, Dino Minnelli, JimmyStyle Jimmy Contreras, Stephanie, Christopher Nork, Laura Burkhardt, Mac Francis, Megan Stetcher and Krista Guido
Look for a special posting Saturday, might even include a Gerard Butler or Jamie Foxx photo.