I did a lot of research about cancer charities, and it soon became clear that St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was the best place for me to serve.
Henry Hanten grew up in Duluth, Minnesota, where he also attended college and received a degree in accounting and business administration. He then moved to Minneapolis, where he put that degree to good use by establishing a janitorial services company, which he ran for 15 years. His wife Sandra, who is a registered nurse and works helping the elderly, lived in South Dakota, so the couple moved back to her home state where Henry set up shop again and started a new janitorial services company, which he still runs today. Sandra will join Henry on the cruise.
Henry Hanten was diagnosed with cancer at age 19, and he was treated by protocols established by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Henry was successfully treated, and has been in remission ever since. As a result of this experience, and after a great deal of research, Henry decided to get involved with St. Jude's, which founded in 1962 by the actor Danny Thomas, whose three children are still active in running it. Henry learned that 86 cents of each dollar donated to St. Jude's goes directly toward treatment of children. He started working on fundraisers for the hospital, and he's been at it for 21 years. He is a radiothon volunteer coordinator, and he trains other volunteers, takes calls and answers questions, staffs the pledge desk, and does whatever is needed to make the promotion work. On average, Henry does five radiothons a year.
Henry also does "math-a-thons" with students in South Dakota, where people donate money for each correct answer. Not only do these events raise money for St. Jude's, they also create buzz and make it cool for students in elementary and high school to be good in math. The math-a-thons are held at a local movie theater in Huron, SD, and a local limo company gives a free one-hour limo ride to the child who brings in the most money.
And, this year Henry returned to Minneapolis to help coordinate a "walkathon," which raises money based on the number of miles walked. The walkathon was held at Target Stadium, where the Minnesota Twins play, and Henry's team raised $11,500 for the hospital!
As a result of his two decades of service, Henry was recognized in 2012 as Volunteer of the Year for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Henry's wife, Sandra is joining him on the cruise.