The Rob’s Remembers His Weekend in Memphis With St. Jude
Earlier this morning, amidst our third annual Kenny Kent St. Jude Radiothon, Kat and I were talking about some of the highlights from my trip to Memphis last month with some of my fellow TownSquare Media radio, digital, and sales personalities. I told her I would repost it so that she and our listeners could read or reread it during our actual radiothon. This is a small example of what St. Jude means to me…
You may have noticed that The Rob’s Radio Show was not live on the air this past Friday. The reason I wasn’t live with you on the radio is because, as we mentioned on the air, right after the show on Thursday, me and some of my fellow TownSquare Media coworkers piled into a huge 12 passenger van and took a road trip to Memphis, Tennessee!
While technically this was a business trip (to educate us and familiarize us with our friends at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital), we had an awful lot of fun in addition to all of the wonderful things we experienced with St. Jude. While it’s hard to narrow it down to only ten memories, here are what I consider to be the top ten highlights from our weekend in Memphis with St. Jude! (In no particular order)
TOURING ST. JUDE HOSPITAL: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is something I had always heard a lot about, but had never actually seen. That changed this weekend. We were given guided tours of every building in the massive hospital, as well as the housing for the patients.
FOOD: We ate A LOT of good food this weekend. Whether it was in the hospital, on the road, or in the hotel, we were never too far away from stuffing our faces. A lot of our meals were traditional Memphis Bar-B-Q, which actually has never really been a favorite of mine, but tastes much better when made by the pros on Memphis’ legendary Beale Street.
DRINKS: From the time we arrived at our hotel Thursday evening to the time we departed back home Sunday morning we never had to drive anywhere. Everything we needed was within walking distance, and anything that wasn’t (like the hospital) we were bussed to. Therefore, for most of the time we were NOT doing something important, any of us could usually have been found with a drink in our hand. As I learned in college, drinking makes learning fun!
MEETING ST. JUDE PATIENTS: A big part of our day Saturday was spent meeting former/current St. Jude patients/families. Their stories ranged from being terribly traumatic to heartwarmingly inspiring. Some patients had overcome their illnesses; some parents’ children had lost their battle; but it was impossible to forget those very emotional stories they shared with us.
KARAOKE: While I’ll admit my rendition of Fall Out Boy’s “Sugar, We’re Going Down” was lackluster at best (I blame it on going nearly 24 without sleep and a severe lack of booze), it at least broke up the monotony of 80 consecutive god-awful country songs. Some of my TownSquare Media brethren have some very talented singing voices. WGBF’s Bobby G practically became a Memphis celebrity after his insanely accurate attempt at Color Me Badd’s “I Wanna Sex You Up.” WKDQ’s Eric Cornish sang ONE song that wasn’t country, Billy Joel’s “The Longest Time,” which I appreciated. Also, KISS-FM’s own Ryan O’Bryan had everyone laughing as he and Bobby took on Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg’s “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang.”
MEETING ST. JUDE DOCTORS AND LEADERS: Throughout the trip we got to hear lectures from higher-ups at St. Jude. Some doctors showed us how they’ve used funds raised from our radiothons to cure diseases, and even showed us some ailments they hope to have cures for within the next few years. The other leaders of St. Jude showed us exactly where the money we all donate goes to. Did you know it costs St. Jude 1.8 MILLION dollars to operate for just ONE day?
CASINO NIGHT: Friday night St. Jude hosted a Casino Night at the hotel we were stating in. It utilized fake money to obtain real prizes for radio stations to give away during their radiothon! While most of the prizes were specific to country radio stations, we were able to trick the entire table we were playing Blackjack with that Ryan O’Bryan was in fact Jeremy Renner.
ST. JUDE INFORMATION SESSIONS: Saturday was devoted to obtaining information pertinent to February’s radiothon. Since this was my first time to any of these information sessions, I now feel completely fired up to raise money for the cause and am certain this will be our best year yet!
KOOKY CANUCKS: While we were in Memphis, our Digital Media Executive Ashley had a birthday on Friday! She seemed less-than-pleased when she realized the place we were taking her to for dinner was essentially a Canadian version of Hooters! Whether she liked the ambiance or not, this dinner ranks as one of my fondest memories from our trip. We laughed the entire time, enjoyed some monstrous drinks and some great food, suffered some injuries, and celebrated Ashley’s birthday. I even consumed a one-quart mixed drink in under a minute without even trying… It was that good!
ROAD TRIPPING: For some people, being trapped in a van for ten hours with six of their coworkers would be considered a nightmare. I’m very fortunate that I work with some awesome people and enjoy the company of everybody that was in that huge van. We definitely bonded and got to know each other on a deeper level than we ever had before, and for that I am very grateful. We laughed the entire time, never bickered, and had some memorable inside jokes that I pray never leave that van.