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‘Taste of Oxford’ Returns Tonight to Benefit St. Jude

Organizers for the St. Jude Taste of Oxford event said they are hoping to raise $600,000 Thursday at their annual event. The event, which benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. at The Jefferson. Tickets are $150 and all proceeds go to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

In its 13th year, the St. Jude Taste of Oxford is a food tasting and cocktail party that hosts more than 1,000 guests per year. In addition to the culinary focus, there are expansive silent and live auctions. The St. Jude Taste of Oxford raised $525,000 in 2019 and won a national award from St Jude last year. This year Next Gear Solutions is the presenting sponsor of the event.

Photo provided.

“This small town has such incredible generosity. To come together and raise over half a million dollars in one night is truly a demonstration of the bigheartedness of the Oxford community,” said Event Chair Elizabeth Randall. “We are so grateful to Next Gear Solutions, and all of our wonderful sponsors and guests, for their amazing support of this year’s event and St. Jude. Our event has a tremendous profit margin, over 90%, as nearly every element is donated or provided at deep discounts—this is only possible because of pure generosity from our community.”

Richard Cross will serve as the emcee of the event. This year the live and silent auctions feature over 150 items generously donated by sponsors, individuals, and local businesses. Some of the items up for grabs include trips to Maui, Nashville, New Orleans, Charleston, Jackson Hole, and Kiawah Island. There are also several items that feature large dinners and parties with notable local chefs as well as a large collection artwork donated by prominent local artists. New this year, the auction is open online before the event. 

Each year the event highlights a local family that is personally affected by childhood cancer and directly impacted by the work of St. Jude. Lily Baker and her parents, Nichole and Lee, will be the special guests at this year’s event. Lily is a local 6-year-old girl who recently won her three-year battle with cancer, with the help of St. Jude.

“Lily and her family are the reason we do this. While the event provides a great social experience for our guests, we feel it is very important to keep the event centered around St Jude’s vitally important work of curing catastrophic childhood illnesses,” Randall said. “St Jude is currently and actively supporting Oxford families with very sick children, and it is critically important for our Oxford and Ole Miss community to do its part and give back.”

Actor Danny Thomas officially opened St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital on Feb. 4, 1962. Since then, the hospital’s groundbreaking research has helped push the survival rate for childhood cancer from less than 20 percent in 1962 to more than 80 percent today, according to its website.

Consistent with Thomas’ vision, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay. For more information or to order tickets, follow this link.

Press release courtesy of Taste of Oxford organizers

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