Giving kids a second chance at life

Published 8:56 pm Monday, January 25, 2021

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In a small ceremony at the Hilton Garden Inn off Harbour View Boulevard, LAP Groups presented a $20,000 check to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

LAP Groups is a company that owns 27 hotels spread across Virginia, North Carolina and Florida. Every year, the company donates to a charity of choice. This ceremony marked the 21st year of LAP Groups donating to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

“I feel that adults can fight battles themselves where children cannot,” said Peter Kumar, the COO at LAP Groups. “I visited the Memphis research center, and it was mind-blowing. I was amazed at the extent of the work they do for these children. They are really giving a second life to these kids.”

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The money from this event will help St. Jude Children’s Hospital fund their treatment and research. This hospital never charges families for any expenses and conducts life-saving research that has flipped the survival rate of their patients from 20% to 80%. According to Reneé Fairchild, the regional marketing director at St. Jude Children’s Hospital, all research is in the open, so that a breakthrough on treatment in the United States can be used to save lives on the other side of the world.

“I think companies like this are so important for us to continue research and serve families and do our mission,” said Fairchild. “It’s strangers that have never met these families that are raising money for them out of kindness and goodness because they think it is the right thing to do.”

The check was given during a small outdoor ceremony at the Hilton Garden Inn. There were 10 attendees to follow gathering restrictions, including general managers from participating hotels and leadership from LAP Groups.

“Charity is not just a check in the mail,” said Kumar. “We like doing a classy ceremony so we can be partners and give the respect that’s deserved. We don’t do it for the recognition but for the hope that we can inspire others to use their positions and platforms to give back.”

Each hotel participated in a friendly competition to raise this money to donate, making a team that continues to support St. Jude Children’s Hospital each year, not just the executives at LAP Groups. In her thank-you to those involved, Fairchild quoted the famous phrase from Danny Thomas, founder of St. Jude Children’s Hospital, that he would rather have a dollar from one million people than a million dollars from one person.