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Grizzlies and St. Jude Celebrate Memphis Grizzlies House Grand Opening

Memphis, Tennessee, January 5, 2004—The Memphis Grizzlies and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital celebrated the grand opening of Memphis Grizzlies House, the new short-term housing facility for patients and their families at St. Jude, during a special celebration on Monday morning. The completion of the facility establishes a special residence for St. Jude patients and their families who need housing for up to seven days, and eliminates the need to stay in local hotels when they travel to town for treatment. View Photos.

Memphis Grizzlies House is approximately 70,000 square feet and can accommodate up to 100 families at a time. Sixty-four of the units are hotel-style rooms for short-term stays, and 36 suites are available for longer stays. The residence features recreation areas for common use, including a family room surrounded by rooms for parents, children, pre-teens and teens. A small, enclosed playground and a basketball half-court are located outside of the residence. The Bombay Company donated more than $130,000 worth of furnishings to the Memphis Grizzlies House.

“With Memphis Grizzlies House, we are growing our roots in Memphis, planting them firmly in the ground of St. Jude,” said Michael Heisley, Grizzlies majority owner. “We are proud to be associated with such an important place for Memphis, and for the world, as together we strive to better the lives of every child who walks through the doors of St. Jude.”

The grand opening festivities included entertainment by the Grizzlies dance team and mascot, followed by a formal ceremonial program. The festivities culminated with the introduction of each Grizzlies player who was teamed up with a St. Jude patient, with the cutting of a basketball net serving as the official tip-off of the grand opening.

The Grizzlies have pledged to fund the Memphis Grizzlies House through various activities including the Memphis Grizzlies House Golf Classic and in-arena auctions held at Grizzlies games over the past two seasons. In addition players visit with patients at the hospital and have donated tickets for St. Jude patients and families through the Grizzlies Tickets for Kids program.

“We are deeply appreciative of the support we’ve received from the Grizzlies since their arrival in Memphis,” said Richard Shadyac, national executive director of ALSAC, the fund-raising arm of St. Jude. “The Grizzlies have shown in many ways that they care about this community and the children of St. Jude. There aren’t enough words to say what this franchise means to our St. Jude families.”

In addition to Memphis Grizzlies House, St. Jude provides two residence facilities for patients and their families based on their expected length of stay. Families under treatment from eight days to three months are housed at Ronald McDonald House, and families under treatment for more than 90 days are housed at Target House.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Founded by late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tennessee, St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. No family ever pays for treatments not covered by insurance, and families without insurance are never asked to pay. St Jude is financially supported by ALSAC. For more information, please visit www.stjude.org.

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