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St. Jude, Sterling Jewelers Inc. Celebrate Opening of Kay Kafe

Kay Kafe honors Danny Thomas' pioneering vision of cafeteria as the heart of the hospital, gathering place for entire St. Jude family

MEMPHIS, Tenn., June 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- St. Jude Children's Research Hospital(R) and Sterling Jewelers Inc., parent company of Kay Jewelers, Jared The Galleria of Jewelry and various regional brands, celebrated the opening of the latest addition to the hospital's campus today. The Kay Kafe is the newly designed and greatly expanded cafeteria that will offer families at St. Jude a variety of menu choices in a playful, relaxed setting.

"When my father founded St. Jude, he envisioned a place of hope and comfort under one roof for children and their families," said Marlo Thomas, national outreach director of St. Jude. "Kay Kafe perfectly captures his spirit and compassion and dedication to providing the best possible care to the precious children who come through the doors of St. Jude every day. We are so grateful to everyone at Sterling and Kay Jewelers, and to Roger Ferris + Partners, for their roles in creating this place of nourishment, comfort and care."

St. Jude founder Danny Thomas dreamed of having just one cafeteria at St. Jude, a place that would foster a sense of family and provide a daily reminder to the faculty and staff of the importance of their work. For more than 45 years, the cafeteria at St. Jude has accomplished that. Now, thanks to the generosity of long-time partner Sterling Jewelers Inc., a new chapter has been added to Thomas' dream.

Sterling Jewelers Inc. wholeheartedly dedicated itself to St. Jude in 1999, when the company selected St. Jude as its national charity of choice. Sterling Jewelers Inc. has been raising funds for St. Jude since 1999 and is one of the hospital's most loyal corporate partners. Endowments and naming opportunities made possible by Sterling Jewelers Inc. over the last nine years include the Solid Tumor Clinic, Patient Registration Area and Second Floor Lobby. This partnership has culminated in Sterling's commitment to raise $16 million for the Kay Kafe.

"The kids of St. Jude mean so much to us, and we are thrilled to be part of helping the hospital fulfill its mission," said Terry Burman, Chairman, Sterling Jewelers Inc., and member of the ALSAC/St. Jude Boards of Directors & Governors. "As part of the St. Jude family for many years, Sterling Jewelers Inc. dedicates the Kay Kafe to Danny's vision. Special thanks to the many Sterling team members whose support helped enable the transformation of the Kay Kafe, and to our generous customers who donated the funds to make it possible. We hope the Kafe will add a new chapter to Danny's dream."

Designed by the highly respected architecture and design firm of Roger Ferris + Partners, based in Westport, Conn., the new Kay Kafe significantly enhances the hospital's food service capabilities. An expanded kitchen allows for a separate food preparation area for inpatient meals, thereby further enhancing infection control. In addition, the expansion enables the hospital to dedicate additional space and staff to the preparation of more meals that are individualized to patients, which dovetails with needs associated with the hospital's diverse population of diets and cultures while also helping ensure that patients who may have difficulty eating due to treatment side-effects find palatable food options.

The Kay Kafe dining area holds approximately 500 people, serving up to 1,000 during a busy lunch hour. Like other patient care buildings on the St. Jude campus, the Kay Kafe has a child-friendly design that includes lower counters so that patients can interact face-to-face with staff. Engaging original artwork also appears in the Kay Kafe thanks to New York based RxArt, a pioneer non-profit organization that curates site-specific projects and installs museum quality original fine art in healthcare facilities nationally. For the Kay Kafe, RxArt created a multi-media installation of contemporary art by rising stars Rob Pruitt and Will Cotton.

About Sterling Jewelers Inc.

Akron, Ohio-based Sterling Jewelers Inc. operates more than 1,407 stores in all 50 states trading as "Kay Jewelers," "Jared the Galleria of Jewelry" and a variety of regional names, employing more than 21,000 associates. Kay Jewelers is the number one-specialty jewelry brand in the U.S. As a subsidiary of the London-based Signet Group plc, Sterling Jewelers Inc. is part of the largest specialty jewelry retailer in the world.

About St. Jude

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, 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 fund-raising organization. For more information, please visit

SOURCE St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
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