Manheim Nashville has reached its 10-year fundraising goal for Mary Jo’s Cure 4 Kids, a charity started in 2004 that benefits St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
The goal, which began at the charity’s inception in 2004, was to raise $1 million for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital over a 10-year period.
On Tuesday, Manheim officials presented St. Jude representative Jessica Turri with a check for $221,214.69 at the auction site between Lebanon and Mt. Juliet off Highway 109.
Over the past decade span the company, along with its employees and customers, have raised more than $1.1 million to go toward Mary Jo’s Cure 4 Kids. In 2013 alone, Manheim raised more than $200,000 of that amount.
Mary Jo’s Cure 4 Kids was named for former Manheim employee Dan Dietsch’s daughter, who died in 2010 following a long childhood battle with a rare form of brain cancer. Mary Jo was treated at St. Jude and suggested the $1 million goal amount herself.
The Manheim team accepted the challenged and became known as “Mary Jo’s Million.”
“The Manheim Nashville team has embraced the chance to make a difference by sacrificing not just their time, but also many of their own dollars to help St. Jude,” said Sam Chaple, general manager of Manheim Nashville. “It’s been a thrill to see how an annual golf outing has expanded into such a successful fundraiser.”
“Because the majority of St. Jude funding comes from individual contributors, St. Jude has the freedom to focus on what matters most – saving kids regardless of their financial situation,” said Allison Buchignani of ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “Thanks to supportive organizations like Manheim Nashville, families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing and food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.”
To reach the $1 million mark, Manheim began with a golf tournament, but quickly expanded into multiple other different events and have reached Manheim customers from several states.
In 2013, Manheim started off $150,000 away from its goal and held fundraising events such as the 10th annual Mary Jo’s Cure 4 Kids Golf Classic in September, which helped push the fundraising gross over $1 million. Sponsorships for the golf event were sold out months before the tournament took place.
Also this year, Essen Motor Co. of Knoxville auctioned off 14 units at Manheim Nashville, with 25 percent of the proceeds going toward Mary Jo’s Cure 4 Kids, totaling more than $28,000.
In April, the auction staff at Manheim wore special pink shirts to honor Dietsch’s visit. The last shirt was auctioned off and sold 13 times to raise $11,800.
Other efforts throughout the year at Manheim includes three different raffles totaling $6,500 raised, and $10,000 from selling Mary Jo’s Million T-shirts. The auctions antique gas pump sold for $2,800 and surplus equipment sold also raised $8,800. Manheim also collected more than $1,300 in coins alone during a “Piggy Bank” competition.
Customer Wholesale Inc., has also raised more than $100,000 over the past eight years and other Manheim competitors have also contributed more than $20,000 for the cause.
“It’s hard to believe that one day of golf back in 2004 has turned into more than $1.1 million,” said Kevin Cook, Manheim Nashville assistant general manager. “Sam and I can’t say enough about the sacrifice of so many employees, customers and vendors. They have jumped in from day one and have helped drive this fundraiser to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.”