The Lexington St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway is currently under way, and Lexington construction and remodeling company DB Homes is donating the time and resources to build it for a second straight year.

Each year, the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway raises money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital while giving away a house (usually between $300,000 – $700,000) to a lucky winner. Raffle tickets are open to the public for $100 each, and all proceeds go directly to St. Jude.

“We raised $700,000 last year – which is equivalent to the amount needed to successfully treat a child diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia,” said Drew Brester of DB Homes.  “ We intend to repeat that this year by selling 7,000 tickets again.  No family pays St. Jude for anything.  That includes all the treatments, travel, meals, lodging – everything.  At St. Jude, they believe the only worry a family should have is for the health of their child.  It’s truly an incredible place.”

It all started last year when a representative from St. Jude approached Drew Brester and his wife and business partner Erin. They immediately said yes to donating the time and materials to build a St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway house in Lexington.

“The Dream Home program is an awesome opportunity for DB Homes to utilize the resources and processes we use on a daily basis to raise money towards an amazing cause,” said DB Homes owner Drew Brester. “It’s an honor to be Lexington’s St Jude Dream Home Builder—one that we hold in the highest regard.”

St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis is internationally recognized Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Its pioneering research and treatment of children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases have ranked it as one of the best pediatric cancer hospitals in the country. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing, and food—all costs are covered by fundraising.

The Dream Home Giveaway is one of the largest single-event fundraisers for St. Jude nationwide, and has raised over $290 million, more than $23 million annually. Thanks to DB Homes, Lexington is now the 30th market in the United States to have a St. Jude Dream Home.

This year’s Dream Home winner will be drawn on June 23 at 5 pm.

This year’s home is estimated at $400,000 and is located in Hamburg’s Tuscany subdivision. The home includes four bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, an estimated 2,900 square feet, a first floor master suite, a walk-out basement, and a two-story living room that highlights the open concept plan. There’s also going to be a “man-cave” on the second floor, complete with UK Wildcats decor, a custom ceiling fan, and a blue quartz mini bar and fridge.

The open bridge and rail separating the foyer and the living room of the house is also a “must-see,” said Brester.

A number of local businesses have helped DB Homes put the house together.

pg 20 HJ_May 16“We’ve been overwhelmed by the community’s willingness to assist with the project—and a majority of them have made this an annual commitment,” said Brester. “We added a few local partners to the project this year—one of which is Haiku Home, a division of Big Ass Solutions.  They’ve donated a Haiku fan for each bedroom, an oversized 72” Haiku for the 2-story living room, utility lighting for the garage and motion activated LED lighting for the halls.”

And another new partner, Peterson Electric, brought in a dozen electrician on a Saturday in March to install the rough wiring all in one day—this would have usually been a 4 to 5 day process.

Open House tours are currently open Each Saturday from 9 am – 5 pm and each Sunday from noon – 5 pm. There will be a Sneak Peak of the house on May 19, shortly before the Grand Opening on May 21.  

And you have a chance to win it, too. Only 7,000 tickets are sold each year.

Last year’s winner, Peggy Seithers of Paris, purchased only one ticket, and she bought it at the house on opening weekend.


The Dream Home Program

The first St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway took place in Shreveport, Louisiana. It was organized by Dr. Donald Mack, a pediatric physician from Shreveport, Louisiana. Dr. Mack had relied on St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to treat young patients with catastrophic diseases and was the first doctor to send an out-of-state patient to St. Jude.

The Shreveport Giveaway and raised $160,000 for the hospital; since then, the Dream Home Giveaway in Shreveport has become an annual fundraiser, raising more than $23 million for the hospital.

Today, the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway is one of the largest single-event fundraisers for St. Jude nationwide and has raised more than $290 million.

This year, the program will include more than 30 St. Jude Dream Home Giveaways.

The support helps raise money for St. Jude where no family ever receives a bill from St. Jude for their child’s care.


St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital founder Danny Thomas believed that “no child should die in the dawn of life.” Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food.

St. Jude freely shares any medical breakthroughs, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save more children. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to more than 80 percent since it opened 50 years ago.

The hospital is where doctors often send their toughest cases because St. Jude has strong survival rates for some of the most aggressive childhood cancers. It is also the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute.

In 2010, St. Jude embarked on an unprecedented effort to sequence the pediatric cancer genome. The sequencing of the complete cancerous and healthy genomes of 700 childhood cancer patients resulted in groundbreaking discoveries in a number of aggressive childhood cancers, prompting TIME magazine to recognize the Pediatric Cancer Genome Project as one of the top 100 new scientific discoveries in 2013.

Donations are used in a variety of ways, but mostly to support the goal of working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90 percent in the next decade.

It costs $2 million a day to operate St. Jude, which is primarily covered by individual contributions.

This article also appears on page 20 of the May 2016 printed edition of the Hamburg Journal. 

For more Hamburg area news, subscribe to the Hamburg Journal weekly digital newsletter.