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St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend raises over $12 million to help children battling diseases

Published: Dec. 4, 2021 at 2:54 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - One of the biggest events in Memphis returned this weekend and raised over $12 million to help children battling life-threatening diseases.

About 20,000 runners laced up their shoes for the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend.

After going all-virtual in 2020, the event made its triumphant return on Saturday.

“I’m so excited to be here. We’re live and we’re in-person and we’re in downtown Memphis and there’s literally thousands of people here gathered,” said Rick Shadyac, the president and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Runners from all 50 states and 72 countries took to the streets of Memphis.

“The most meaningful thing for me about this race is to see the St. Jude families. We’ve got 1,100 St. Jude family members who are participating in this race,” said Shadyac.

Shadyac says through their training the participants raised over $12 million this year.

That money will support research and treatment at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help children battling diseases like cancer.

That mission is why Curtis Callaway says Shaw Floors got involved with St. Jude a decade ago.

“Every dollar that’s raised here goes back to St. Jude [Children’s Research Hospital], so whether it’s a golf event or walk/run, everything gets funneled back to the hospital, so that’s why we wanted to participate,” said Callaway.

Not only does St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital benefit from the marathon, but Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland says the local economy does as well.

“Because that’s a lot of hotel rooms, a lot of visitors, 80% or so are from out of town, so they raise $12 million for St. Jude and spending millions of dollars in the city, so it’s a win-win,” said Strickland.

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