|St. Jude Children’s Cancer Center in Beirut, Lebanon|
“The beginning of this organization is about our community. There is a generation of Arab Americans right now who don’t know that, and we need to tell them about our heritage. This is a very proud point for the community about what Danny Thomas and a group of fellow Arab Americans did in the sixties and seventies, and what it is today.
|The waiting room at CCCL in Beirut.|
Thomas is the father of Marlo Thomas, an American actress, producer, and social activist, who starred in the popular American TV series “That Girl;” Tony Thomas, a television and film producer and Terre Thomas, an actress.
|Danny Thomas kisses the toe of St. Jude Thaddeus as Mrs. Thomas looks on during the formal opening of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, February 4, 1962.|
Still Thomas would never forget the commitment he made to St. Jude, and a few years later after he became a successful entertainer, he approached a cardinal in Chicago and told him he wanted to build a statue.
|St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.|
St. Jude requires $1.8 million in operating costs each day, and more than 75 percent of that funding comes from the public. Thanks to donors, no family ever pays the Hospital for anything.
|On February 4, 1962, Danny Thomas spoke to the assembled crowd at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for the formal opening of the hospital. “This is the greatest day of my life,” the television performer observed. “If I should die this minute, I would know why I was born.” Some 9,000 people turned out for the opening. PHOTO: Fred Griffith/The Commercial Appeal|
In accordance to bylaws, 70 percent of the board members of St. Jude have to be of Arab American heritage, and 30 percent is comprised of people from different backgrounds. The company prides itself on diversity.