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St. Jude Children's Research Hospital tops off Black History Month by honoring basketball legend Penny Hardaway, Dr. Trevor K. T

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital tops off Black History Month by honoring basketball legend Penny Hardaway, Dr. Trevor K. Thompson at 5th annual St. Jude Spirit of the Dream

PR Newswire

MEMPHIS, Tenn., Feb. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- During the 5th annual St. Jude Spirit of the Dream, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® honored Penny Hardaway with the Spirit of the Dream Award, which is presented to a person who embodies the mission of St. Jude and its founder, Danny Thomas. Taking place during Black History Month, the St. Jude Spirit of the Dream event celebrates the achievements of African Americans who helped build the legacy of St. Jude and continue to support its lifesaving mission: Finding cures. Saving children.®

Jason Farmer (left) and AC Wharton (right) congratulate Penny Hardaway (center) on receiving the 2020 Spirit of the Dream Award at the 5th annual St. Jude Spirit of the Dream event.

In addition, St. Jude posthumously honored Dr. Trevor K Thompson with the St. Jude Spirit of the Dream Legacy Award, accepted by his wife, Cherry Whitehead-Thompson. Thompson founded the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tennessee to help raise awareness and support for sickle cell disease, which St. Jude has been committed to treating and curing since the hospital opened in 1962.

This year's sold out event was attended by more than 250 guests – including Memphis elected officials, African American community leaders, sponsors, members of National Pan-Hellenic Council organizations and longtime other St. Jude supporters – gathered to celebrate the achievements of African Americans who helped build the legacy of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

"Since our doors opened in 1962, in the midst of the civil rights movement, the African American community has played a critical role in our mission. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has a rich history of inclusivity, founded on the idea that all families here would be treated equally. Renowned African-American architect Paul Williams was chosen to design our original hospital, and our founder Danny Thomas worked to desegregate the Memphis hospitality industry, insisting all patients were housed and treated equally," said Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "Especially as we celebrate Black History Month, we cannot overstate our continual gratitude for inspiring individuals like Penny Hardaway and the late Dr. Thompson for making a positive impact on the lives of St. Jude families, the African American community and our beloved city of Memphis."

Vice Chairman of the event, Jason Farmer, was among this year's special guests. Farmer helped establish the event, playing an influencer role who encouraged others to get involved. He was recently honored with a Daily Point of Light Award from Points of Light, a global nonprofit organization that inspires, equips and mobilizes millions of people to take action that changes the world.

Because of events like St. Jude Spirit of the Dream, families at St. Jude never receive a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. To make a donation through the event or learn more about the lifesaving mission of St. Jude, visit

About St. Jude Children's Research Hospital®

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Its purpose is clear: Finding cures. Saving children.® It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude won't stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. Join the St. Jude mission by visiting, sharing stories and videos from St. Jude Inspire, liking St. Jude on Facebook, following St. Jude on Twitter and Instagram and subscribing to its YouTube channel.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Logo (PRNewsfoto/St. Jude Children's Research)

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SOURCE ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

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