The 2022 St. Jude Hero Among Us Award was presented to Ronnie Schwartz of Alexandria, LA., a selfless champion for St. Jude kids, on the eve of St. Jude Memphis Marathon® Weekend presented by Juice Plus+®. The award is given each year to a St. Jude Hero® who rallies others to raise funds for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital®.
Schwartz became a St. Jude Hero in 2018, joining a special group of athletes who fundraise while training to support the lifesaving mission of St. Jude: Finding cures. Saving children.® Shortly thereafter, the CenLa Runners Heroes were created ? a group of runners and fundraisers from Central Louisiana who have formed a 39-member team this year captained by Schwartz. In just five years, Schwartz has personally raised nearly $200,000 as a St. Jude Hero during St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend, helping the CenLa Runners Heroes surpass $700,000 in total funds raised. This year, they're setting their sights on reaching the $1 million mark.
"St. Jude Heroes epitomize striving to make a difference in the lives of children and inspiring others on the journey, exactly what St. Jude Children's Research Hospital founder Danny Thomas accomplished when he pursued his dream of creating St. Jude," said Richard C. Shadyac Jr., president and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "We are so grateful to Ronnie and his team of St. Jude Heroes for their selflessness and passion for St. Jude. I'm looking forward to seeing them join more than 20,000 dedicated supporters in downtown Memphis this weekend as they come together to bring St. Jude one step closer to the finish line to find cures for childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases."
In 2020, Schwartz was recognized with the St. Jude Hero of the Year Award for his overall support of the St. Jude mission. This honor is part of a larger award celebration that recognizes St. Jude supporters outside of St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend. Schwartz was recruited to be a part of the first National Ambassadors for the St. Jude Heroes program and he serves as a Local Ambassador for the Gulf Coast Heroes. St. Jude Hero Ambassadors are individuals who act as supporters for the St. Jude brand and use their platform or voice to increase awareness and to inform others how to get involved.
CenLa Runners Heroes and Schwartz have been celebrated for many years as one of the top fundraising teams and top individual fundraisers in the country for St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend. Help the CenLa Runners Heroes stay on track to raise funds that help ensure no family receives a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food so they can focus on helping their child live. Every child deserves a chance to live their best life and celebrate every moment. When you support St. Jude and Heroes like Ronnie, you help give kids with cancer around the world that chance. Together, we can save lives.
Get full St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend details and donate to St. Jude at stjude.org/marathon.
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. When St. Jude opened in 1962, childhood cancer was considered incurable. Since then, St. Jude has helped push the overall survival rate from 20% to more than 80%, and it won't stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude shares the breakthroughs it makes to help doctors and researchers at local hospitals and cancer centers around the world improve the quality of treatment and care for even more children. Because of generous donors, families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food, so they can focus on helping their child live. Visit St. Jude Inspire to discover powerful St. Jude stories of hope, strength, love and kindness. Support the St. Jude mission by donating at stjude.org, liking St. Jude on Facebook, following St. Jude on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and TikTok, and subscribing to its YouTube channel.
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