'Melting Pot' of partners raise millions for St. Jude, pediatric cancer research

10/26/2017 08:26 am ET Updated Oct 26, 2017
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and more than 70 global brands ask consumers to #GiveThanks during the holiday-focu
PRNewsFoto | St. Jude Children's Research
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and more than 70 global brands ask consumers to #GiveThanks during the holiday-focused fundraising campaign. An annual tradition started 14 years ago, JOANN Stores, Best Buy, Kmart, Domino's, Kay® Jewelers, HomeGoods, ANN INC. and others have signed on to help end childhood cancer and other life threatening diseases.

Appealing to patrons and consumers of 70 global brands partnered with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and its St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign, one of the world's premier pediatric cancer research centers wants America to #GiveThanks.

"The continued generosity of our corporate partners, celebrity friends and the millions of holiday shoppers who support our mission year after year is a blessing for which we are very grateful,” said Marlo Thomas, St. Jude’s national outreach director.

Created by Marlo, Terre and Tony Thomas – children of St. Jude founder Danny Thomas – the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign asks people to "Give thanks for the healthy kids in your life, and give to those who are not" in order to help St. Jude continue its noble mission.

A “vital part” of the 55-year-old organization’s “fundraising efforts,” the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign has raised millions of dollars since its inception in 2004.

“It is because of their efforts that we are able to continue groundbreaking research and treatment all while keeping our founding promise that no family receives a bill from St. Jude for anything -- not for treatment, travel, housing or food -- because all a family should worry about is helping their child live,” Thomas said.

The clever partnership marketing campaign distinguishes the World Health Organization Collaborating Center as a true innovator, showcasing how the corporate social responsibility initiative has uniquely united celebrities, media, retail and corporate partners, encouraging consumers to be charitable while shopping.

"This is a milestone year for The Melting Pot, as we surpassed $10 million in donations to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Our dedicated franchisees, operators, team members and devoted customers have supported this great cause over the last 13 years, and we couldn't be prouder of their unwavering commitment to raise awareness and funds for St. Jude," Bob Johnston said earlier this month.

CEO of Front Burner, restaurant management company for The Melting Pot Restaurants, Johnston said the company’s "longstanding relationship with St. Jude has afforded us the opportunity to help save children's lives.”

“We're honored to partner," said Johnston, leader of the No. 2 casual dining restaurant according to Nation's Restaurant News 2016 Consumer Picks report.

With 120 restaurants in 35 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, since 2004 The Melting Pot has raised nearly $10 million by supporting the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer, a year-round Fondue a Cure for Childhood Cancer Chocolate Bar Program, The Melting Pot Classic Golf Classic, and Annual Fondue Party at Target House.

"Through these collaborative efforts among all of our restaurants, each of our guests have an opportunity to make a significant impact," said Johnston.

"Our family of restaurants and team members are very excited to know that their dedication and hard work touches the lives of so many children."

Pediatric Cancer Research: From Basic Science to the Clinic [VIDEO]

An annual tradition started 14 years ago, The Melting Pot, JOANN Stores, Best Buy, Kmart, Kay Jewelers, HomeGoods, ANN INC. and Bosch Appliances are among an impressive list of Fortune 500 corporations and industry leading brands that have signed on to support St. Jude.

Representing a cross-section of retail, restaurant, travel, hospitality, and media brands, top returning campaign partners include AutoZone, Williams-Sonoma, Inc., New York & Company, Carnival, Mazda, Christopher & Banks, Dollar General, Brooks Brothers, Marshall's, DXL, Claire's, GNC and Domino's.

"Everyone at Domino's is looking forward to coming together to raise awareness and funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, an organization that has grown to be a key part of our culture over the last 14 years," said Patrick Doyle, Domino's president and CEO.

Raising "dough" for more than a decade, the world leader in pizza delivery launched its St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign earlier this week.

"We hope customers will join us in making this the most prosperous fundraising campaign yet," said Doyle.

Domino's has raised more than $38 million for St. Jude since becoming a national partner in 2004, and in 2015 committed to raise an additional $35 million by 2023. In 2016, Domino's and its customers raised $7.3 million and are poised to eclipse that figure this year.

"During one of their busiest times of the year, our dedicated St. Jude Thanks and Giving partners make our mission of finding cures and saving the lives of children an integral part of their holiday," said Richard Shadyac Jr., CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. 

"We give thanks for their generous support, and the millions of people around the world who contribute so that we are able to help the many families who turn to St. Jude for lifesaving care and groundbreaking research for their children," Shadyac said.

“Honored” to be a St. Jude partner, Bosch Appliances shares a “strong commitment to improving lives” and are “very passionate” about their partnership, according to Anja Prescher, director of brand marketing of the high-quality appliance maker.

“Committed to enhancing lives through high quality, performance and innovation,” the German engineered company is the official supplier of state-of-the-art dishwashers, ranges, ovens and cooktops installed in the kitchens of the St. Jude Dream Homes.

NBC's TODAY show will launch its contribution to the St. Jude Thanks and Giving campaign the Monday before Thanksgiving, with appearances by Thomas and St. Jude patients. Receiving additional support from national theatre partners including AMC, Cinemark USA and Regal Entertainment Group, St. Jude Thanks and Giving will be featured on American Airlines in-flight videos, their in-flight magazines and social media platforms. In addition, AccentHealth, America's leading waiting room media network, will air the St. Jude public service announcement in physician offices nationally.

“We look forward to another year,” said Paula Baker, president of Best Buy’s U.S. retail stores.

"Last year, our customers and employees donated more than $18.2 million – the highest of any fundraising partner,” Baker said proudly of helping to “find cures and save children.”

Identifying childhood cancer research as a global priority, the AACR Pediatric Cancer Working Group (PCWG) provides a forum for communication and collaboration among basic, clinical, and translational researchers in academia, industry, and government on all aspects of pediatric cancer research.

PCWG serves as an interface bridging the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) with advocacy and legislative groups to promote the prevention and cure of cancers arising in children.

Supported by improved funding, the very latest technologies, and the best educational strategies, in December PCWG will convene in Atlanta to address the unique issues and challenges in investigating the biologic basis of childhood cancers and translating recent findings into new treatment approaches.

Led by St. Jude’s Charles W. M. Roberts, Peter C. Adamson of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and Nada Jabado of McGill University in Montréal, the Pediatric Cancer Conference: Pediatric Cancer Research: From Basic Science to the Clinic will address strategies for translating basic science findings into treatments with a clinical impact will be featured, including the most up-to-date findings on targeted therapeutics and immunotherapy.

The only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children, treatments developed at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago.

St. Jude Partner Highlights

  • Best Buy has exciting plans to build upon the $18.2 million the company raised during last year's campaign by allowing customers to give through their credit card signature pads or online at BestBuy.com
  • Kmart will launch #UglySweaterforBetter, an ugly holiday sweater campaign, as part of this year's campaign.
  • The NBA and its teams support a range of programs, partners and initiatives including the Hoops for St. Jude, Memphis Grizzlies Partnership, St. Jude Ambassadors, Hoops for St. Jude Week, NBA Cares,The National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association (NBATA) and The Gasol Foundation.
  • The annual plush campaign from Kay® Jewelers benefiting St. Jude features Aiden and Avery. Each plush retails for $13.99 with all proceeds benefiting St. Jude.
  • Domino's is offering consumers the opportunity to donate to St. Jude via in-store, telephone, online and mobile orders, as well as the purchase of a St. Jude Meal Deal during the campaign timeframe. For each Meal Deal purchased, Domino's will donate $1 to St. Jude.
  • JOANN will inspire customers to "Make to Give" back to St. Jude this holiday season. The activation will encourage customers and social users to make unique, handmade ornaments in-store to benefit St. Jude. JOANN will also offer customers the opportunity to donate at checkout across all 870 store locations.
  • From mid-October through the end of December, The Melting Pot’s Donate & Dine offers guests opportunities to donate. For every $10 donated, guests receive a Donate and Dine card valid for $20 off a future purchase of $50 or more at The Melting Pot. For each $5 box of chocolate fondue wafers purchased, $1 is given to St. Jude.
  • Several St. Jude partners are offering merchandise during the holidays to benefit St. Jude including Brooks Brothers, Hammermill, HomeGoods, HSN, Kmart, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, Pottery Barn Teen, New York & Company, TUMI, west elm, and Williams-Sonoma.
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