By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Memphis is known for the Blues, barbecue and the amazing work done at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
It’s neighbor to the north Millington has build a strong reputation for patriotic pride, spirit strength and sense of community. All will be on display June 22 at USA Stadium in Millington at Blues by the Lake.
The event organized by community leader Debra Sigee has become the ideal platform for Millington Church of God in Christ and Parkway Smokers Cafe’ to conduct a fundraiser to benefit St. Jude.
Staring May 1, the local business and Millington C.O.G.I.C. is selling raffle tickes for Customer Appreciation Day and to raise money for St. Jude.
“It’s a chance to give back to St. Jude,” Millington C.O.G.I.C. Missionary Brenda Floyd noted. “St. Jude accommodates so many cities, states and place throughout the world. We feel it’s only a small contribution for us to come together as a community and give back in appreciation to St. Jude for what they do for our children.”
The mission of St. Jude is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. This was the vision of founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay.
Through the years Parkway owners Uresh “Sam” and his wife Sweta Patel have catered events at the Millington Church of God in Christ. The two organizations have worked together on community event supporting local schools and gatherings like Taste of Millington.
“Sam and I came together talking about what can we do for St. Jude,” Millington C.O.G.I.C. Pastor Johnnie Temple Jr. said. “Along with his thoughts about Customer Appreciation Day, it felt like a good start to start it here. Along with the church and the workers of the church to help support St. Jude which is a good organization to support.”
The two groups have been meeting at Parkway located at 4629 Navy Road to organize the raffle and the prizes to be given away at Blues by the Lake. Patel and his group are also reaching out to other local businesses, organizations, schools and churches for support.
There are sponsorship opportunties for businesses ranging from $200 to $500 with proceeds going to St. Jude.
Donations will be taken up for the cause until the June 22 event. And during Blues by the Lake, Parkway will have a vendor booth with information about St. Jude. The church and business approached Sigee to help get the word out and take advantage of the Blues by the Lake audience coming from around the Mid-South.
“As people come to enjoy the Blues and they have their vendor booth set up raising money for St. Jude, there might be people there to donate to St. Jude’s funds,” Sigee noted. “When Sam approached me, it was more because of the crowd that will be there for the Blues. And they’re catering and barbecue, this is one way they can give back to their customers by providing a low-cost meal during the event. All the proceeds raised by Parkway and Millington Church of God in Christ go to St. Jude.”
Blues by the Lake will go to benefit the Millington Central High School Chorale to help replenish its funds after the recent trip to New York City’s Carnegie Hall. The event will also benefit Mid-South Safehaven Arts for Kids. Performers are being lined up like Sweet Angel, Sonny Mack and Lisa G.
Millington businesses like Parkway and USA Properties are helping to sponsor the Blues by the Lake. With Parkway’s Customer Appreciation Day a prize of gas and hotel room stay at the Comfort Inn in Atoka will be part of the raffle giveway. Sales from the raffle and barbecue sold at Blues by the Lake will go to St. Jude.
Raffle tickets are $1 each or six for $5. For more information about the St. Jude fundraiser call 873-4853.
“We want the whole community to help with this,” Patel concluded. “We’re going to open it up to everybody to help St. Jude and their cause.”