DETROIT, Nov. 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — The Ford Motor Company Fund returns as the presenting sponsor of the St. Jude Detroit Gala at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 15, at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation in Dearborn.

Pictured from left to right at the 2017 St. Jude Detroit Gala are some members of the event planning committee, including: Ghassan Saab and emeritus member of the Board of Governors of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Manal Saab; Calvin Ford and event co-chair Sarah Ford; Mark and Josee-Anne LaFrance Wakefield.

“Ford Fund is proud to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the important work they do to support families affected by pediatric cancer and other life-threatening diseases,” said Jim Vella, president of the Ford Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company. “At the Ford Fund, our mission is to help make people’s lives better and St. Jude does that every day by providing access to treatment and alleviating financial burdens for the children and families they serve.” 

Event co-chair Sarah Ford credits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® with saving her life after being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common form of childhood cancer, at age 2.

St. Jude has increased survival rates for ALL from 4 percent when it opened in 1962 to 94 percent today. St. Jude physician Dr. Gaston Rivera, M.D., never doubted Ford would pull through, promising her when she first came to St. Jude that he would dance at her wedding one day. Decades later, her oncologist followed through on that promise, and today, Ford is living life to the fullest as a mother of two children.

“All kids deserve a chance to live long, healthy lives just like Sarah Ford,” said Cynthia Gardner, regional executive director of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “By attending the gala and sponsoring the event, our community partners are helping ensure those diagnosed with childhood cancer or other life-threatening diseases get that chance.”

Thanks to the support of a number of local sponsors, including the Lear Corporation and DTE Energy Foundation, the gala will include a cocktail reception, dinner, live entertainment, and both live and silent auctions. They share a vision that supports local children who might receive care at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as well as the thousands of families around the globe who benefit from its research discoveries that are freely shared with doctors and scientists everywhere.

The Detroit community has generously supported this gala over the years to help ensure families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food—because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. St. Jude founder Danny Thomas was a Michigan native, and this event has existed in various forms since the 1960s. For more information, visit

About St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Its purpose is clear: Finding cures. Saving children.® It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude won’t stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. Join the St. Jude mission by visiting, liking St. Jude on Facebook, following St. Jude on Twitter and Instagram and subscribing to its YouTube channel.


St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Logo (PRNewsfoto/St. Jude Children's Research)

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