As a special events intern for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, I had the lucky opportunity to recently attend the annual Fall Festival of Hope. Wednesday, September 18, over 500 St. Jude supporters gathered at the Depot in downtown Minneapolis.
Throughout this extravagant gala, guests enjoyed the silent auction, music from The Blenders, and an amazing live auction. Over 20 of the top Minneapolis restaurants catered the event, providing small plates of their most popular dishes. Queen of Cakes supplied centerpieces that tasted even better than they looked.
While the live auction of extravagant vacations and prizes was entertaining, the most memorable part of the event came from Jen O’Hara. The mother of a previous St. Jude patient, O’Hara inspired the audience with her honesty and courage. Stories of her late daughter, Shannon, and her never ending positive outlook filled the room with emotion. O’Hara shares this amazing story in her new book Determined to Matter.
Through the successful events like Fall Festival of Hope, St. Jude is able to ensure that patient families pay nothing for treatment. This also covers traveling costs, food and housing while at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN.
This event stimulated my interest in the nonprofit sector, as I saw and took part in preparing small details that come together to create a successful gala. Fall Festival of Hope took place the second day of my internship. Jumping right in to one of the biggest events of the year has set the tone for an amazing semester.
Right away, I experienced the dynamics of the Region 6 team and was welcomed without hesitation. We spent the entire day dropping tables, preparing 600 gift bags, coordinating the auctions and much more. At each moment I knew this was a fantastic fit. The people, the internship, the nonprofit sector, special events, it all fit.