LOS ANGELES: The nation's largest children's charity has opened an entertainment-marketing office in Los Angeles in an effort to boost its profile through celebrity association.
Memphis, TN-based St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which raises hundreds of millions of dollars each year to fund treatment for children with cancer and other diseases, has hired two nonprofit PR pros based in LA to help secure celebrity spokespeople, create event partnerships, and network with the entertainment industry.
The two hires, Joel Goldman and Tara Dhar, were both formerly with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
"St. Jude always had its roots in the entertainment industry," said Goldman. "This seems to be a time for us to refresh it, and bring younger entertainment and industry folk into the fold."
Entertainer Danny Thomas founded St. Jude in 1962 as a shrine to the patron saint of hopeless causes. The hospital provides treatment regardless of families' ability to pay.
Over the years, celebrities have helped the charity, but it has not become as well-known as other Hollywood nonprofit favorites. Raising its profile is especially important, said Goldman, because St. Jude raises funds mostly from small donations of around $25, making it vital that consumers are aware of it.