JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A major fundraising event to help children battling life-threatening illnesses has changed venues.
The annual St. Jude S'travaganza will now be held inside the former Sears building, 1901 South Caraway Road, in Jonesboro.
The venue was announced in a news released by Haag Brown Commercial Real Estate and Development Tuesday.
The upcoming event will mark 25 years since Fred and Susan Cathcart, along with a group of their friends, started the fundraiser in 1994. The Cathcarts began raising money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital after losing their daughter, Donna, to a rare form of childhood cancer.
"We would like to thank Marty Belz of Highland Street Group, LLC for his generosity in offering the Sears building as the location for our 25th annual St. Jude S'travaganza. There are no words to describe our gratitude for having this property made available to us." Fred and Susan Cathcart stated as part of the news release.
The new 80,000-square-foot venue is expected to serve more guests.
Over the last 24 years, the St. Jude S'travaganza has raised $4.5 million for the hospital.
About 7,800 patients visit the hospital annually and are cared for free of charge. It takes over $2 million per day to operate the facility.
Currently, the research done at St. Jude has increased the childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago, the news release stated.
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