Sharing His Passion for St. Jude
Bill Roach's introduction to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital® came, oddly enough, through a boat race.
As regional vice president for MICG Wealth Management in Norfolk, Va., Bill is encouraged to volunteer part-time for charities. He had been researching charities several years ago when an acquaintance asked him to help with a local regatta in support of St. Jude.
"I said yes, and the more research I did about St. Jude, the more I discovered that the hospital was something I wanted to support," he recalled. He became involved in a growing number of regional events supporting the hospital and soon was elected to the St. Jude Regional Board of Directors for Hampton Roads. Now he is the board's president, serving in a two-year term that runs through 2009.
Bill has no children of his own and has never had a friend or relative who has needed St. Jude, but he said "I became a disciple for life after my first visit to the hospital."
What surprised him most was "how much St. Jude doesn't feel like a hospital. It has a secret ingredient for hope that is hard to articulate, but you feel it when you walk in the doors. There is so much that takes place there that enables a child to be a child instead of living only as a patient."
He says that he strongly supports what St. Jude is doing in research, "but what means the most to me is that the hospital takes on patients regardless of their race, background or ability to pay. Having grown up in a small southern town, that really speaks to me."
Describing himself as "a country boy at heart," he feels his roots in the little town of Surry, Va., give him "a good appreciation of what people have to offer and the value of relationships." He tries to use those gifts both in his profession and in his volunteer work on behalf of St. Jude.
"My predecessors on the board have done a phenomenal job spreading the St. Jude brand in the Hampton Roads community, and I'm proud to continue their work and represent the 35 individuals on the board," he said. His goal as president is to further educate area residents about St. Jude, and to increase both the number of Partner In Hope donors and members of the Danny Thomas – St. Jude Society in the region.
Bill became a member of the society when he made the decision to leave St. Jude in his will several years ago.
"Through my work, I understand the importance of succession planning, to assure your wealth legacy can continue working for things you really care about," he says.
"Many people don't understand all their planned giving options, and how some, like charitable gift annuities, are truly win-win situations because they provide income to them while also providing a generous gift toward the work of St. Jude."
"St. Jude means so much to me, and I want to ensure its support in the future, both personally and by encouraging others to share the care and passion that is St. Jude."
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