The Jewelers Charity Fund for Children (JCF) recently donated $600,000 to help further life-saving research performed in the Jewelers Charity Fund for Children Stem Cell Transplantation Laboratory at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. The funds will be used to find innovative ways to treat childhood cancer.
Created by the jewelry and diamond industry with the sole mission of raising monies for charities that benefit children, the JCF has donated $6.5 million since 1999 to fund life-saving programs run by its charity partners. The Facets of Hope Dinner is a JCF fund-raising event—held every year in Las Vegas—at which two prominent members of the jewelry industry are honored for their tremendous support of the JCF mission.
On hand to dedicate the newly endowed labs were JCF chairman Victor Weinman of DesignWorks Jewelry Group Ltd.; 2003 Facets of Hope co-honorees Mary Forte of Zale Corp. and Matthew Runci of Jewelers of America Inc.; and Pattie Light, executive director of the Jewelers Charity Fund for Children.
“We wanted to invest in a research program because so many children will be affected by the work being performed in the stem cell labs at St. Jude,” said Light. “By funding research, we are giving to something that will provide a better life for children for many years to come.”
In 2001, JCF donated $1.5 million for the Jewelers Charity Fund for Children Bone Marrow Transplant Clinic. The donation made to this clinic is used for patient care that includes research-driven therapies, many of which are discovered in the stem cell transplantation labs.
The Jewelers Charity Fund for Children has pledged to raise $5 million over the next five years to fund a chair position in the Cell and Gene Therapy Program at St. Jude.
The hospital’s work is supported through funds raised by The American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC), which covers all medical treatment costs not covered by insurance. Families without insurance are never asked to pay. For more information, visit www.stjude.org.