Thursday, May 17, 2012
Clydesdale gives to St. Jude
By SUE WATSON
The 18-year-old Clydesdale Store, begun by Brenda and Ronnie Luther to provide Christmas gifts for needy families, is dissolving this year.
Store representatives recently presented a check to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., the final recipient of the Clydesdale funds from the organization.
Brenda Luther remarked, while presenting a check for $30,694.50 to Andrew Ellis with St. Jude, “We’ve always tried to make a difference in children’s lives.”
The store has served Marshall and DeSoto counties and areas hard hit by hurricanes and tornadoes.
Ronnie Luther said over $2 million in goods and money has been given to charities in the 18 years of the store’s operation.
“And nobody’s ever gotten paid,” he said, praising the volunteer efforts over the years.
“That says a lot for our friends and how they stayed with us 18 years,” Brenda Luther said.
“We were fortunate,” Ronnie Luther said. “We could kind of pick and choose places where there was not a lot of help for people out there.”
He cited the contributions to the Hernando/Holly Springs National Guard unit, the residents at Waveland who lost all in Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, and the residents of Smithville, who lost their homes to tornadoes last year.
Ellis remarked about how important donations are to St. Jude where sick children are treated free.
“You are helping to take care of over 7,800 active patients in St. Jude,” Ellis said.
Most patients are outpatients, he said.
“Danny Thomas (founder of St. Jude) believed when families and patients come to us, they receive no bill,” Ellis said. “You are helping to take care of them.”
Survival rate for acute lymphoblastic leukemia in children was 4 percent when Danny Thomas founded St. Jude.
Today there is a 94 percent-plus survival rate due to research that has led to improvements in treating the most common cancer disease in children.
It costs about a half million dollars to treat one of these children, according to Ellis.
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