St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital’s signature fundraiser, the annual Evening Under the Stars party and golf tournament, will take place this weekend. Earlier this month, the three children of the founder of the party and golf tournament were presented with the inaugural Terre Thomas Award in Memphis, TN, in recognition of their family’s legacy of help.
Lydia Novakov, Joe Haggar III, and Marian Bryan attribute their award to the work of their parents and grandparents. Their father Joe Haggar Jr. was a founding ALSAC board member (St. Jude’s fundraising organization) and fundraised locally in Dallas for St. Jude since the hospital’s inception.
“To be honored with the Terry Thomas Award was especially meaningful because it was really in honor of our parents are grandparents,” Novakov, a Highland Park resident, said. “It’s part of the legacy of the family and we are fortunate to be a part of it.”
The Evening Under the Stars party and golf tournament have raised more than $11 million for St. Jude patients.
“He brought St. Jude to a local level in Dallas,” Bryan, a Preston Hollow resident, said of her father.
The family has been involved in many other ways. She and her husband George Bryan are on the host committee for Evening Under the Stars, while Novakov is a member at large. Both sisters have chaired the event in the past. Their brother is chairing the golf tournament.
“We grew up with that in our blood,” Bryan said.
The Terre Thomas Award honors a lifelong commitment to the cause, and is the namesake of an ALSAC/St. Jude board member who has served as spokesperson for the hospital across the country and given the keynote address at the annual Epsilon Sigma Alpha convention.
The three siblings have worked from a young age to raised funds, recruit volunteers, and spread awareness of St. Jude’s cause.
“We would do neighborhood walks through the years, invite our friends over and after our walks we would have donuts,” Novakov said. “We canvassed for St. Jude since grade school and through high school.”
Her children and grandchildren are already involved with St. Jude too, and attend all the events.
She said “we hope our children and grandchildren will continue” the family legacy.