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Kyle On: St. Jude Marathon

Mon, December 18, 2017

St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend is something we look forward to every year. The marathon is quite the production with 22,000 participants, making it the largest single day fundraiser for the hospital. In years past, we’ve had a group actually run the race. {You can read Sara Kate’s post on last year’s race HERE.} This year, we left our running shoes at home and focused on our fundraising efforts at the St. Jude Marathon Expo.

The St. Jude Marathon Expo takes place in the convention center close to the race. Nearly 100 exhibitors set up for race participants, spectators, patients, and family members. Mom and I were there personalizing ornaments with our VP of Sales Strategy, Kristin. Mom and Kristin’s role was to assist the customers, sell the product, and take their personalization orders, which then came back to me to fulfill. We asked for a $5 donation with each personalization and raised $5,000 on personalizing ornaments alone!

As you may know, we design custom products for the St. Jude Gift Shop, including a marathon specific ornament for the Expo. Being a part of the Coton Colors Design Team and designing each and every aspect of our products is so special to me. Frequently in design review, as we edit an assortment of designs and discuss details (color, size, shape – whatever it might be), we find ourselves anticipating what the end customer might think or feel or how they might use it to celebrate something in their life. In St. Jude’s case this is even more special given the hardships the patients and their families are facing. I love being there in person to personalize ornaments. Whether the personalized message is a commemoration of the race mileage, a St. Jude patient number, a bereavement message to a passed loved one, an encouraging verse, or a celebratory message signifying conquering childhood cancer, we are able to be a tiny little part of their journeys!

Kyle

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