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Inaugural Stanford International Pro-Am Winner A Remarkable Story in Determination And the Powerful Impact of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

AVENTURA, Fla., April 27 /PRNewswire/ -- There are many, many special moments that happen every day at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital(R), but every once in a while there is a moment that is a testament to the life-changing work of the hospital and the perseverance and determination of their young patients. Those associated with the hospital refer to these experiences as a "St. Jude moment".

Everyone at the inaugural Stanford International Pro-Am in Aventura, Florida was able to witness just such a moment yesterday.

Twenty-three year-old Aaron Theobald, a talented young golfer who was participating in the Pro-Am as a guest of Stanford Financial Group, won the inaugural Pro-Am with his professional partner Beth Bader with a score of 25-under par. For many of the fans watching, this wouldn't seem out of the ordinary, but when they learn of Aaron's story, they fully understand the meaning of a "St. Jude moment".

When Aaron was 16 years old, he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common form of cancer in children. His doctor advised Aaron and his family, who live in Bloomington, Illinois, to seek treatment at St.Jude, the premier pediatric cancer research center.

At St. Jude, Aaron endured a two-and-a-half-year chemotherapy protocol, as well as two hip transplants to his right hip to offset joint deterioration.

Now 23 years old, Aaron is a 10-handicap in golf and he showed the world, including Bader, the meaning of the word determination and just why St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is a place of miracles for thousands of children and their families.

"To hear Aaron's story, and how he's battled what he's battled at such a young age, I mean, it obviously touched me and still touches me," said Bader yesterday after their final round. "It was a pleasure and an inspiration playing with him."

One of the most exciting moments of the Pro-Am tournament came yesterday on Theobald's final hole at Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Club. After a brilliant approach shot on the Par-five, 18th hole on the Soffer Course, Theobald stood over a three to four feet eagle putt, a putt that would have been very symbolic considering the Eagles for St. Jude program.

Eagles for St. Jude is a fundraising program created by Stanford Financial to benefit St. Jude. For every eagle recorded on the PGA and LPGA Tours, Stanford donates $1,000 to the hospital. After a successful first year with the initiative on the PGA TOUR in 2007, which saw $1,222,000 donated to the hospital, Stanford expanded the program to include the LPGA Tour. PGA TOUR stars Vijay Singh and Camilo Villegas, as well as LPGA Tour star Morgan Pressel, are personally donating money to the program for every eagle they record themselves.

Fans of the PGA and LPGA TOUR are also able to participate and can make donations to Eagles for St. Jude at

Theobald just missed his eagle putt, but it doesn't diminish his remarkable story this week. The impact of his victory is sure to inspire many children facing similar circumstances while also demonstrating to thousands more the impact of St. Jude.

"Getting the chance to play in the Stanford International Pro-Am was a dream come true," said Theobald. "It was a thrill to meet all of the pros, but Beth was especially great. She was there for me the whole week, helping to keep me calm, coaching me on how to play certain shots. Everything about the tournament was first class and I really appreciate the opportunity. I'm excited about coming back next year to defend the Pro-Am title."

Theobald dreams one day of playing golf professionally, but regardless of what happens in his golf career, Aaron Theobald's victory here yesterday at the Stanford International Pro-Am will go down as a "St. Jude moment" for a lifetime.

Stanford Financial Group

Stanford Financial Group is a privately held, wholly owned global network of financial services companies led by Chairman and CEO Sir Allen Stanford and founded by his grandfather, Lodis B. Stanford in 1932. Stanford's core businesses are private wealth management and investment banking for institutions and emerging growth companies. Stanford provides private and institutional investors with global expertise in asset allocation strategies, investment advisory services, equity research, international private banking and trust administration, commercial banking, investment banking, merchant banking, institutional sales and trading, real estate investment and insurance. Stanford serves clients from 136 countries on six continents. Securities products and services in the United States are offered through Stanford Group Company, member FINRA/SIPC. More information on the company can be found at Stanford also sponsors the PGA Tour's Stanford St. Jude Championship.

About St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

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 the late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tenn., 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, its fundraising organization. For more information, please visit

About Eagles for St. Jude

Eagles for St Jude is a program created by Stanford Financial Group during its inaugural sponsorship year of the Stanford St. Jude Championship out of the desire to provide a season-long fundraising component for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. For each eagle carded on the PGA Tour and LPGA Tour, Stanford donates $1,000 per eagle to Eagles for St. Jude. In addition, PGA Tour professional Vijay Singh, who serves as the Eagles for St. Jude ambassador, has committed to donate $5,000 for every eagle he makes. He is joined by other individuals, companies and golfers who have made commitments to the program, including golfers Camilo Villegas and Morgan Pressel who have committed $3,000 and $1000, respectively, for each eagle they make. Eagles for St. Jude is also supported by The Golf Channel, which provides season-long updates and promotional support. More information on the program can be found at

SOURCE Stanford Financial Group
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