ILLUMINATION10 CO-CHAIRS JIM AND STACEY WEDDLE
Jim Weddle is the managing partner of Edward Jones. Stacey Weddle is a mother, minister and breast cancer veteran. Together, they are proud parents of three grown children and first-time grandparents of baby Abigail. This dynamic duo is stepping up in 2010 to help the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine make the future better for their family and yours.
What inspired you to take a leadership role in the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation’s illumination10 gala to benefit the Siteman Cancer Center?
Jim: When Steve Lipstein (President and CEO of BJC HealthCare) asked us to consider chairing the gala for the Siteman Cancer Center, it was an easy decision. The work that Siteman does is amazing. I lost both my grandmother and my mother to cancer, and Stacey’s mom died from breast cancer. Whatever we can do to help Siteman change that outcome for other families is vitally important.
Stacey: It’s personal for me. My breast cancer was a rare, slow growing type and was caught early on a routine mammogram. This meant we had options for treatment and were able to beat it quickly. But I want everyone to have more options, regardless of their cancer type or stage.
Edward Jones is the presenting sponsor of illumination10. How does this event reflect the values of your company and its role in our community?
Jim: We take our responsibility to be a good community citizen very seriously. John Bachmann (Senior Partner) taught us all well in that regard. Our associates, leaders and partners are given time to volunteer with the organizations close to their hearts. Edward Jones was also an original contributor to the establishment of the Siteman Cancer Center. We know firsthand from associates who have been treated at Siteman how fortunate we are to have this world-class resource right here — so our involvement in illumination to raise funding for research at Siteman can only make this community an even better place to live and work.
WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES FOR THE SUCCESS OF ILLUMINATION10?
Stacey: Jim and I hope to raise awareness of the Siteman Cancer Center, to encourage St. Louisans to learn more about Siteman’s national leadership, to get them more involved and to be more financially supportive. All of us have an opportunity to make a tremendous difference by giving to the Siteman Cancer Center!
If a business associate, family member or friend asked you why he or she should support the Siteman Cancer Center, what would you say?
Jim: There isn’t a family or organization that hasn’t been touched by cancer. You don’t have to look very far. But it’s also breathtakingly expensive to fund the research needed to find the cancer markers that will bring us closer to better treatments and cures.
Stacey: We never know what the future holds. Any one of us may need the services of the Siteman Cancer Center. Wouldn’t you want Siteman to continue offering the latest treatments? The best research? Supporting Siteman is the right thing to do.
In what other ways do you enjoy contributing to the quality of life in St. Louis?
Jim: I find it rewarding to serve as a Saint Louis Science Center Commissioner, as well as on other boards of organizations like Webster University that are embracing innovative ways to advance their missions. I was honored to chair the walk for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation — a great organization doing important work — and I was able to help build new connections and raise awareness. And now I’m gearing up to serve as the 2010 campaign chair for The United Way of Greater St. Louis — another terrific organization that touches the lives of more than a million people in the greater St. Louis area.
Stacey: The most important thing to me is my family. In fact, I became involved with St. Louis Irish Arts because my children enjoyed performing in the group. Both of our boys were part of the 2004 World Champion Irish Band that brought the title back to the United States. Our middle child still teaches and plays that badorhn drum and will soon travel to Shanghai to perform during the World’s Fair.
It was through St. Louis Irish Arts that our children participated in the Congressional Award program for Young Americans, in which youth earn bronze, silver and gold medals for achieving personal goals in public service, personal development, physical fitness and exploration. I’m thrilled to serve on the board of the Missouri Congressional Award Council so that I can encourage involvement in the program. I’ve also been blessed to use my master’s degree in counseling to help establish a Stephen Ministry for one-on-one crisis counseling at my church, and to create from it a “Timothy Ministry” for peer-to-peer teen counseling.
Besides having access to national leaders like Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Washington University School of Medicine and the Siteman Cancer Center for health care, what do you love the most about St. Louis?
Jim: I’m originally from Chicago, and Stacey is from Indianapolis. Things have changed a lot since we first came here in 1976 so that I could finish my MBA at Washington University, but St. Louis has always been an amazing city with outstanding educational opportunities at every level. The significant presence of higher education institutions raises the quality of life here. I’m pleased to say that all three of our children have attended college in St. Louis!
Stacey: We have one of the absolute gems in the country with Forest Park, and the Art Museum, Science Center, Zoo and History Museum. Then there’s the Fox Theatre, the Repertory Theatre and the Saint Louis Symphony — what a great community!
Jim: Don’t forget the sports teams!
Stacey: And St. Louis is a great place to raise a family. There are many ways to stay involved in community service here. We have been able to lead by example. Now our kids give back, too.