MEMPHIS, Tenn. — June 4, 2014 — For the third consecutive year, FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE:FDX), joined St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® today in dedicating a FedEx Cessna Caravan in honor of a St. Jude patient, the daughter of a FedEx team member. The dedication ceremony took place at noon near the FedEx cabana at the 57th Annual FedEx St. Jude Classic at TPC Southwind.
Fifteen-year-old Allie Allen, daughter of FedEx Express pilot Eric Allen of Germantown, was center stage as her name was unveiled on a FedEx Cessna cargo plane. For Allie and her family, the aircraft naming and the FedEx St. Jude Classic have a particularly heartfelt meaning this year.
Since 2007, Eric Allen and his wife, Debbie, have led the volunteer efforts for the Little Loopers, a FedEx St. Jude Classic program in which St. Jude patients participate as honorary caddies during Pro-Am play.
“It was an honor to learn that this aircraft would be named after me, but more important is the recognition this event gives to all the young patients receiving such good care and treatment by St. Jude,” she said.
It was more than a year ago when the value of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s world-renowned research and treatment capabilities became a fixture in the Allen home. In February 2013, Allie was diagnosed with anaplastic ependymoma, a type of brain tumor. A competitive dancer on her school’s dance team, Allie underwent surgery and radiation therapy treatment at St. Jude.
Allie completed her treatment just before last year’s FedEx St. Jude Classic and her most recent scans showed no new evidence of disease. She has since returned to school and to normal competition on her dance team.
“Words cannot convey how grateful our family is for Allie’s remarkable recovery and for the best medical treatment in the world provided by St. Jude,” Eric Allen said. “Our hearts have always been part of this special tournament week because of the St. Jude kids, but now more than ever we feel blessed for what St. Jude has done for Allie and for all the children under their care.”
Approximately 125 FedEx and St. Jude representatives and guests, along with other dignitaries, watched as Allie removed a pin flag covering her name on the display model aircraft. Another operational Cessna will now carry the name Allie on all its domestic cargo transport flights.
Dubbed “Operation Purple Eagle,” it was three years ago when FedEx and St. Jude began the tradition of naming a FedEx Caravan airplane after a St. Jude patient who is a FedEx employee’s son or daughter. For many years, FedEx Express has named its large cargo freighters in honor of the sons and daughters of its team members.
“What a heartwarming occasion this event has become in recognition of all St. Jude children,” Bill West Jr., vice president of FedEx Express Supplemental Air Operations, said. “Allie, like all St. Jude kids, is a fighter and her spirit and that of all the children under the care of St. Jude is a true inspiration to us all. This is their day, and FedEx could not be more proud of these kids and St. Jude.”
This is the 25th year FedEx Express has been the title sponsor of the FedEx St. Jude Classic, which raises invaluable funds and awareness to support research and treatment at the hospital.
“It is remarkable that FedEx continues to pay tribute to our patients in such a significant way through the naming of a FedEx aircraft,” said Richard Shadyac Jr., CEO of ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. “This celebration of brave St. Jude patients like Allie and their families who serve at FedEx, show how deep the ties are between our two organizations. From our earliest days, FedEx has been a powerful supporter of St. Jude, and because of that support and events like this, no family ever receives a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food, so families can focus on helping their child live.”
Read more about Allie from the perspective of her father on the FedEx blog: http://blog.fedex.com/plane-naming-stjude-2014
About FedEx Express
FedEx Express is the world's largest express transportation company, providing fast and reliable delivery to more than 220 countries and territories. FedEx Express uses a global air-and-ground network to speed delivery of time-sensitive shipments, by a definite time and date with a money-back guarantee.
About FedEx Corp.
FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $45 billion the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world's most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 300,000 team members to remain "absolutely, positively" focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. For more information, visit news.fedex.com.
About St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other deadly diseases. St. Jude has the world’s best survival rates for the most aggressive childhood cancers, and treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since we opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90 percent in the next decade. St. Jude freely shares the breakthroughs we make, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. Join the St. Jude mission by visiting stjude.org or following St. Jude on facebook.com/stjude and twitter.com/stjude.
About FedEx St. Jude Classic
The tournament now known as the FedEx St. Jude Classic was founded in 1958 as the Memphis Open. The world-class event has raised invaluable funds and awareness to support research and treatment at the hospital, since it became the sole charity in 1970. FedEx became title sponsor in 1986 and donations to the hospital skyrocketed. FedEx completed twenty-one years as title sponsor in 2006 and became the umbrella sponsor of the FedExCup in 2007. The tournament is produced by Youth Programs, Inc., a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization.