Fort Mill hosts St. Jude fundraiser Saturday

jmarks@fortmilltimes.comNovember 19, 2013 

— There won’t be umpires, batsmen or pitching Saturday at Knights Stadium. But there sure will be a lot of people walking.

More than 600 walkers should be on hand for the “St. Jude Give thanks. Walk.” event in Fort Mill. The stadium is one of 75 venues nationwide to participate. Money raised goes to help children facing cancer and other diseases with research and hospital care.

A Fort Mill family who has received care at St. Jude will participate, according to organizers.

Lake Wylie resident Rich Brothers took to the streets the past three years to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, team-running from Chicago to Peoria, Ill. Last year he raised $1,800. This year, he ran 28 of the 160 miles, raising more than $2,800.

Brothers and his wife, Dana, have four children who make St. Jude fundraising a sobering but important endeavor, he said.

“It is heartbreaking to see children suffer from diseases that they have no control over,” Brothers said. “I can't imagine having to go through that as a parent, but knowing that St. Jude was working on a cure would still give me hope.”

At Clover High School, the Moped to Memphis club raises money for teacher Frank Falls to deliver following an annual moped ride to Tennessee. The club has delivered more $100,000 since the rides began in 2008.

“Because they do so much good,” Falls said of why he does it. “There is so much hope and love at St. Jude.”

As of Monday morning, there were 99 individuals who raised $100 or more. The top individual has raised more than $5,400.

The Fort Mill event includes 19 teams raising $500 or more. Tammy Whitworth, chairwoman and CEO of Window World, is part of the top overall team with $18,400.

"Our Window World family has been so blessed over the years and we’re privileged to be able to give back to a cause that really matters," Whitworth said earlier this year, when her company set a goal of raising $1 million in 2013 for St. Jude.

St. Jude serves children facing life-threatening illness, at no cost. Donations keep the hospital operating. The upcoming series of walks begins the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign, which includes retail and corporate partners along with celebrities.

The Fort Mill event will include family activities, face-painting and more. Music will be provided by 96.9 The Kat and Praise 100.9. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Saturday and the walk at 9 a.m. The cost is $20 for adults, $10 for kids and free for ages 5 and younger.

For more information, go to fundraising.stjude.org.

John Marks •  803-831-8166

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