With great effort from researchers, scientists and medical professionals worldwide, pediatric cancer diagnoses have begun to stabilize over the last decade. That is not to say, though, that they have stopped completely. The American Cancer Society noted that nearly 10,000 children under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2023.
One major orchestrator of these advancements toward the detection, treatment and survival of childhood cancer is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a world-renown pillar of technology, medicine, pediatric wellness and hope. The hospital is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the treatment and cure of pediatric diseases, particularly leukemia and other cancers. But the hospital, which was founded more than six decades ago, could not accomplish its revolutionary work without the support of people like Stephen J. Murphy and his powerhouse law firm, Block O’Toole & Murphy.
Situated in the heart of New York City, Block O’Toole & Murphy is a personal injury firm that has been fighting for victims of catastrophic injury across New York State for years.
But aside from the work they do for their clients, their philanthropic efforts have achieved remarkable success for a cause that—for some of the lawyers—hits particularly close to home. Murphy and fellow partner Daniel P. O’Toole both know firsthand the tragedy of losing a young family member to cancer. Inspired not only by the tragedy that befell their families but witnessing the physical, mental and financial toll it takes on the patients and their families, Murphy has spearheaded the event since 2007 that has not only brought in millions of dollars for St. Jude but continues to be successful amid the pitfalls of the last few pandemic-wrought years.
The annual St. Jude NYC Wine Tasting fundraising event began with one goal in: to fund research towards cancer treatment while easing the burden for families battling alongside their children. The event, held each year in New York City, is preparing for its 29th year next month. Though traditionally held in the fall, the event has been re-branded to permanently take place in late spring. The event has continued its unparalleled success despite the change in schedule. On June 8, 2023, attendees will gather to support this lifesaving mission of discovering cures, restoring hope to families and saving the lives of children.
Live entertainment from the Jim Roberti Band, silent and live auction items and, of course, delicious wine and food are all included in the event. All proceeds raised will go directly to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, ensuring that families will never receive a bill for treatment, travel, housing or food.
Murphy, who in 2019 was recognized as Event Chairperson of the Year by St. Jude, noted that the silent and live auction weren’t all necessarily prizes. In fact, much of what is being auctioned is priceless. “One of the things that is interesting about our event is that we have a component called ‘Give to Live.’ This means people are paying for blankets, radiation treatments, family housing on campus. This gives the audience a perspective of how much things cost and what they can accomplish and contribute with certain monetary donations. They can see right then and there that they are making a difference.”
The event has raised almost $9 million and counting to date. Even during 2020, while Murphy and the firm were unable to host an event because of COVID-19, they still managed to raise almost $600,000, personally reaching out to past attendees in any way possible to seek their much-needed support. The momentum and popularity of the event has continued, and in 2022 alone, they raised over $900,000. This year, Murphy hopes that the event will reach a major milestone—$1 million raised in a single night.
For those wishing to contribute sponsorships, purchase event tickets or make a donation to the "Give to Live" program, you need only visit the event website. There are options to donate ahead of the event, more details about tickets, as well as options for those who cannot attend in person but would still like to support the cause.
Murphy and his firm are looking forward to another successful year supporting St. Jude and furthering their lifesaving mission: Finding cures. Saving children®.
Stephen J. Murphy and Daniel P. O’Toole have been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® since 2014 in Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs. Jeffrey A. Block has been recognized since 2015 in Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs and Product Liability Litigation – Plaintiffs.