Amos Yakhoob, St. Jude and Carnival

You remember Amos Yakhoob, don’t you? The only and only Amos Alphonsus Muzyad Yakhoob? He had another name, which you may have gathered by now, and which we discovered last year when visiting Memphis.

Danny Thomas, of course. Father of Marlo, if you’re too young to remember.

Thomas was his older brother, Danny was his younger bro and if you thinks it’s strange that parents would have sons named Thomas, Danny and Amos Alphonsus Muzyad, join the club. But they did and the one who adopted his brother’s monickers for show business became one of the most popular entertainers of all time.

Better than that, he became the founder of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. There’s a story here, but first the reason why it even comes up in a cruise blog. Carnival cruises are partway through the first year of a three-year fundraising campaign which the cruise line has pledged $3 million for St. Jude’s, a research facility that specializes in child cancer.

Passengers on all Carnival cruises have the chance to participate in themed fundraising activities at sea. Fun, games, cancer awareness and surprises, under the banner of “Care To Play.” The Carnival-St. Jude partnership began in 2009 with a $50,000 donation.

Now, the story.

We were in Memphis last November. On a city tour, we stopped at the Danny and Rose Marie Memorial Gardens, which included the library (right) which is somewhat under-stated, as these things go, and naturally it tell their story and the connection to St. Jude. We might have surmised they had lost a child to cancer, but they didn’t.

Instead, the young Lebanese entertainer from Michigan was at an early crossroads in his career, when he knelt in front of a statue of St. Jude, the patron saint of hopeless causes. With Marlo soon to be born, he wanted a sign — show business or not — and he promised to erect a shrine to St. Jude.

The sign came and, until the day he died in 1991, Danny Thomas never forgot — a few days before his death, he filmed a St. Jude commercial. And, frankly, cruise lines like Carnival are among the many business committed to seeing that he, too, will never be forgotten.

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One Response
  1. Barbra Bishop says:

    I love this blog! Well, I love all of them, but this one is really touching – and it makes me like Danny Thomas more than ever.

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