The 33rd annual Karen Lawrence Run benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will take place on New Year’s Eve.
The two-mile fun run/walk and four-mile run are held in memory of Karen Lawrence, a patient treated at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The event will be on Saturday, and registration starts at 4 p.m. The two-mile event starts at 5 p.m., and the four-mile event starts at 5:30 p.m. Registration and the races begin at the Sports Barn downtown.
Karen Lawrence began her battle with leukemia in May 1978. Although she successfully completed her first round of treatments, her cancer relapsed in June 1979. Karen underwent a bone marrow transplant to save her life but sadly passed away in March 1980. She was 11.
Karen’s love for St. Jude led to her desire to raise money for the hospital. She, along with friends and family, developed the idea for a charity run in Chattanooga. Karen was even able to shoot the gun to start the first run in 1979 with Mayor Pat Rose. Since then, the Lawrence family remembers Karen each New Year’s Eve by continuing the run to raise funds to fight childhood cancer. Because of the research at St. Jude, the long-term survival rates for acute lymphocytic leukemia have risen from 40% in 1979 during Karen’s battle to 94% today.
This year marks the 33rd annual Karen Lawrence Run for St. Jude, making it one of the longest running St. Jude events in the country. Funds raised by the Run will help support current St. Jude patients, including those from the Chattanooga area, and fund the life saving research continuously conducted at St. Jude.
Accomplished songwriter/performer Tim Veazey will be back again this year to provide entertainment for the crowd. He has performed for Princess Margaret, Ted Turner, Tommy LaSorda, Joe Torre. Mr. Veazey has also performed with Crystal Gayle, Rita Coolidge, Billy Joe Royal, Doug Stone, Chet Atkins, Ray Stevens, B.J. Thomas, Sawyer Brown, Pete Fountain, Dickey Betts (The Allman Bros.), Sonny Turner (The Platters), and Felix Cavilere (The Rascals).
This event is generously supported by WDSI Fox61, UNITRIN, CHATTEM Inc., AMEDISYS, Chattanooga Track Club, The Coca Cola Company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, The Sports Barn, and Vulcan Materials, TIS, Retirement Solutions along with Comcast Cable and US-101.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas, is one of the world’s premier centers for the research and treatment of pediatric cancer and other catastrophic childhood diseases. St. Jude is the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute.
Children from all 50 states and from around the world have come through the doors of St. Jude for treatment, and thousands more around the world have benefited from the research conducted at St. Jude – research that is shared freely with the global medical community. St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatments that are not covered by insurance. No child is denied treatment because of a family’s inability to pay.