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2024 Minden St. Jude Auction raises over $2.5 million

by Minden Press-Herald

The Minden St. Jude Auction saw another record-breaking year with the event raising a whopping $2,538,444 for the Children’s Research Hospital. This feat was only attainable through the efforts of volunteers who worked throughout the weekend to make the auction function, the sponsors who helped the event, whether through funding, raffle items, or auction items, and most importantly the generous viewers who chose to help fight the fight against children’s cancer all while taking home some great items at the same time. 

Despite the adverse weather conditions, the Minden Run for St. Jude demonstrated remarkable community support, amassing an impressive total of $100,230, underscoring the collective commitment towards advancing the cause of pediatric healthcare and research at St. Jude’s Research Center.

The event, aimed at supporting the St. Jude’s Research Center, commenced with the Kids Fun Run, where young athletes from the region showcased their spirit. A. Ramsey of Minden clinched the top spot, followed by B. Marks of Haughton in second place and E. Harmon, also from Minden, securing third place.

Following the youthful energy, the 10K race unfolded, witnessing Keith Pitman of Minden seizing the victory, trailed by Anna Lake Watts, also of Minden, in second place, and Kenichi Pass from New Boston, Texas, securing third.

The momentum continued with the commencement of the 5K race, where Nathan Vogel of Campti led the pack, followed by Graham Gordy of Shreveport in second place and John Hiltom Ferguson III, also hailing from Shreveport, in third.

Another big event for the weekend was the Minden St. Jude Chili Cook-off which raised a total of $16,245 to go towards the Auction. 

In the main competition, the judges selected Big Jon’s Big Eats with head cooks John and Nancy Rogers as the winners for the 2024 Chili Cook-Off. The People’s Choice Winner and Best in Show awards both went to Wookie Chow, with head cooks Scott and Josh Spillers. 

The Young Women’s Service Club (YWSC) of Minden always loves the opportunities to be as involved in the community as much as possible and St. Jude Kids Day is no exception. This year the event was able to raise a total of $1155 dollars for the auction despite being pushed indoors due to the weather. 

“Each year, we offer an area filled with different activities for the kids to participate in. This allows us the opportunity to not only raise funds for the St Jude auction but also gives the kids something fun to do differently, creates a great experience for the kids along with their parents and also gives the parents some time to check out all of the various activities happening throughout the city that morning,”  said YWSC President Elizabeth Campbell.

Local students throughout the parish also made a huge impact in the fight against children’s cancer. All 14 public schools in Webster Parish united in a successful fundraising drive for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, collectively donating $149,123.57 this year. This impressive figure marks an increase of $23,774.13 compared to the previous year’s contributions. 

Throughout the academic year, students and faculty engaged in diverse fundraising activities, demonstrating their unwavering commitment to the cause. The district extends its gratitude to administrators, teachers, staff, students, and the broader school communities whose relentless dedication made this achievement possible. Every donation, regardless of size, played a crucial role in supporting St. Jude’s mission.

Another big part in the auction raising so much money was some of the great raffle items that were up for grabs. Some of the big ticket raffle winners include the Partners in Hope Raffle Winners,  Michael Wise winning the $5000 cash prize, Dustin Logan winning the trip for four to Disney World, and Bradley Jordan winning the big screen TV package. Grace Eskew was the winner of this year’s custom space-themed playhouse. Last but not least, the winner of the grand prize, either $50,000 or a 2024 GMC Yukon was Kyle and Jenea Towns.

It was another record-breaking year for the Minden St. Jude Auction. This achievement was only possible due to the countless hours and hard work donated by the auction’s volunteers, as well as generous contributions in the form of raffles, pledges, donations, and of course bids from all who tuned in either live or in person and, as a result, Minden once again showcased what can be accomplished when people work together for the greater good.

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