Funding the Fight Against Childhood Cancer (Part I)

with Nichole Ornelas and Stephanie Dillon, ALSAC-St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Indiana National

Childhood cancer is an ongoing battle, but the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities or ALSAC is the largest healthcare related charity in the United States and is funding the fight against childhood cancer for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Despite the fact that ALSAC has been raising more than $1 billion annually for the hospital through more than 30,000 fund-raising activities, guests Nichole Ornelas and Stephanie Dillon from ALSAC highlight the challenges that are still posed to funding research and fighting childhood disease.  For more with Nichole and Stephanie, please watch the second and final portion of this interview here Funding the Fight Against Childhood Cancer (Part II).

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. To give to ALSAC and help St. Jude Children’s Hospital fund the fight, please visit ALSAC – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Interview recorded on August 23, 2017. Hosted by Taylor Bennett. Part I of II.

Partial transcript of the interview is here:

Bennett: ALSAC actually predates the hospital. Talk to me about the roots here in Indianapolis.

Ornelas: ALSAC is the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Danny Thomas formed ALSAC to gain support for the hospital and set up the first office here in Indianapolis.

Bennett: What does it stand for/

Ornelas: It stands for the American Lebasnese Syrian Associated Charities.

Bennett: It does have a long history here, what has been the reaction from families, especially.

Dillon: Everyone knows St. Jude and even if they don’t have anyone that has been there. When we talk about St. Jude and about raising money they are willing to give. 75% of our operating costs are covered by public donations.

Bennett: Pediatric cancer is not something you want to think about. Do you find that those that are not going through it, don’t understand?

Ornelas: Danny, our founder, believed no child should die in the dawn of life. So from research, treatment and all that, it is easy to get behind.

Bennett: What does a day look like for you in the world of fundraising?

Ornelas: It never quite looks the same.

Bennett: Does it get frustrating?

Ornelas: I don’t know if frustrating is the word, it’s something we are both passionate about. It is just so fundamentaly important.

Dillon: I think it is similar to sales experience. You get the nos but you get to celebrate the yes’s.

Bennett: Is that why you do it, because it is so rewarding?

Orenleas/Dillon: Absolutely.