Page 96 - ShowSight - April 2020
P. 96

                 FOR THE LOVE OF CHILDREN AND
MAN’S BEST FRIEND
BY WALTER J. SOMMERFELT
Afew months ago, I shared with you an article I had written on volunteers and my opinion that they are indeed the backbone of our sport. I received a few very positive responses from that message and one of
them suggested that I should share my story to show that it was not just talk. My story illustrates that when you think outside the box and explore that seemingly impossible thought with other forward-thinking people you can make a difference.
This is a true story about one man’s idea of sharing his love of dogs and a desire to do something to help the Children of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. It shows how that idea—with the help of a great group of people —developed into a special event that left a small footprint on a city and a love for man’s best friend.
THE ST. JUDE STORY
This story started after I became involved in a volunteer effort for St. Jude Chil- dren’s Research Hospital. For those of you who may not know much about St. Jude’s, it all began with its founding by the entertainer Danny Thomas. It was founded on the premise that “no child should die in the dawn of life.” The idea for the hospital was from a promise that Mr. Thomas had made to a saint many years before its found- ing. At the time Thomas was a struggling Catholic comedian trying to get a break in his career and living from paycheck to paycheck. When his first child was about to be born, he attended Mass in Detroit and put his last $7.00 in the offering plate. He prayed to St. Jude Thaddeus (the Catholic patron saint for lost causes) for a means to provide for his growing family. About a week later he obtained a gig that paid ten times what he placed in the offering plate. Following that Thomas believed in the power of prayer. He promised St. Jude Thaddeus that if the saint made him success- ful, he would one day build him a shrine. Years later, Thomas became an extremely successful TV star and comedian and built St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as a shrine to honor his promise to St. Jude Thaddeus. >
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