Jennifer Whitten, Assistant Vice President and AutoZone Account Manager knows what it means to have the rubber meet the road. On December 1, 2018 the rubber of her sneakers met the roads of Memphis in the 17th Annual St. Jude Memphis Half Marathon.
Twenty-six thousand participants and 40,000 spectators from across the country and around the world gathered to support St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. In its biggest year yet, the St. Jude Marathon Weekend raised a record $11.2 million for the kids of St. Jude. “I am always humbled and thankful to all the supporters who donate money to this fantastic organization” said Jennifer. “St. Jude Hospital's goal is to eliminate childhood cancer and to make sure that no family ever pays for care.”
Since Jennifer began working with AutoZone nearly 3 years ago, she has been proud to work with a GB partner who sponsors the marathon event, which is so closely aligned with her own social purpose. AutoZone was fully represented at the Expo the day before the race with the AutoZone sponsored vehicle and plinko game. The expo also included a virtual reality booth where she and her running mates were a part of a child's 'No Mo Chemo' party. “It was amazing to have a 360 degree view of the party. If you look at the photo of us in our VR headsets, you’ll notice it actually looks like we’re sitting in the hospital.”
“For anyone who has ever run a long distance race, crowd support has a huge impact.” Jennifer was thrilled to have the support of her client as she and her fellow runners cruised by. “Mile 3 was sponsored by AutoZone and they had a tent set up in front of corporate headquarters. They were cheering us on as we ran by. They are out there for a long time cheering!”
Jennifer is greatly invigorated when she reaches the 4-6 mile segment. “The most inspirational and emotional part of the run, I believe, is running through St. Jude's hospital campus. Kids that are able to be outside are on the road giving high fives and many who have survived cancer are there too with signs and their families sharing their thanks.”
This year, the half-marathon ended at the AutoZone Ballpark, where the runners, enjoyed post-race recovery events and took photos.
It’s not too late to support Jennifer’s fundraising goal for 2018 – if you would like to learn more, please visit: http://fundraising.stjude.org/site/TR/Heroes/Heroes?px=4022863&pg=personal&fr_id=88563.
Jennifer Whitten and her fellow fundraisers present their contribution of $2,395 to St. Jude’s. (L-R: GB AVP Jennifer Whitten, and friends Jess Sickman & Jenna Kampwerth)
Jennifer Whitten, proud to partner with AutoZone, St. Jude Marathon Gold Sponsor
Running with purpose: entering the St. Jude campus at mile marker 4
Jennifer and her fellow runners virtually attend a “No Mo Chemo” party at the expo