Join us to dine for St. Jude Hospital

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, August 17, 2011

During the past five years, members of the Natchez community, area businesses and culinary experts have donated their time and money to help raise money for the only Pediatric Cancer Center as designated by the National Cancer Institute, St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Last year this event raised more than $21,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. It was an enjoyable evening filled with a five-course meal and wine pairing, live auction (that was quite lively!), and most of all, hope that the money raised will continue to support the mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital founder Danny Thomas who said, “No child should ever die in the dawn of life.”

Our family has ties to this wonderful town and its people. We were raised here, and still call Natchez home. We also have ties to St. Jude. It is also home in a strange sort of way.

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You see, when we first walked through the doors of the hospital, we held in our arms a very sick toddler. Julia had a form of leukemia that six years ago had a 60-percent cure rate. Over the course of six months, Julia endured five rounds of chemotherapy, 21 blood transfusions and 22 platelet transfusions. She pulled through a fungal infection and in the end, returned home in remission. She has remained in remission and in the five years since her last round of chemotherapy, the cure rate for her cancer has increase by 11 percent.

All of this is possible because individuals, families and communities like Natchez choose to make St. Jude a benefactor of fundraising efforts.

We are honored that this event is held each year in Julia’s honor. As a vibrant 8-year-old, you would never know how sick she was six years ago.

Unfortunately, there is still no cure for so many types of cancers — adult and pediatric. But the money donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital promotes the research that one day may find cures for all cancers.

Please join our family at 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21, at the Castle Restaurant for the fifth annual St. Jude Children’s Hospital Benefit Dinner and Live Auction. All proceeds go straight to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

As always, it will be a delicious meal and exciting auction, all for a great cause. Tickets are $60 a person and that includes appetizers, salad, dinner, dessert and a wine pairing.

For more information or to reserve your ticket please call Lyn Fortenbery at 601-446-8500.

Jennifer Eidt is the parent of a cancer survivor.