Reservations are now being taken for an evening of “Sequins, Suits, and Sneakers”

St. Louis, Mo. Oct. 30, 2014 -The Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation will host its 2nd annual Fundraising Gala on Thursday, Oct. 30, as supporters lace up their sneakers and don their evening attire to raise awareness and funds for the foundation and the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center. The special evening of “Sequins, Suits and Sneakers” will showcase the Center’s exceptional programs and the families benefiting from them, while raising much-needed funds to assist the Center in its mission to provide youth, adults and families with the resources to improve their quality of life.  

The Gala, which is sponsored by Ameren, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, St. Louis Cardinals and the East St. Louis Community Fund, will be hosted by Olympic champion Jackie Joyner-Kersee at the Hilton at the Ballpark, with a cocktail reception beginning at 6:00 p.m. and dinner and the program starting at 7:00 p.m.

The JJK Center supports the foundation’s vision to be recognized globally for its comprehensive, youth-driven, education, athletics, spiritual and community-building programs in the Greater East St. Louis region. Today, the center is a safe haven for learning, athletics and play. It provides services to thousands of families and youth in the metropolitan St. Louis area, and is an integral part of revitalizing the East St. Louis community. The Center also hosts community meetings and informational seminars, including a financial literacy program and job training for parents and citizens of the Metro East.

The winner of six medals in four consecutive Olympic Games, Jackie Joyner-Kersee is considered one of the greatest athletes of all time. Sports Illustrated Women voted Jackie Female Athlete of the 20th Century, and ESPN named her one of the 50 Greatest Athletes.  With her proven philosophy for being successful while balancing all of life's obstacles, Jackie made a personal promise to guide and support youth to overcome challenges and achieve their dreams.  Since January of 2000, the JJK Center has helped fulfill her promise to enhance the lives of children, particularly those in the East St. Louis community, with thousands of individuals served.

Individual Patron Tickets for the Gala are available for $250, Relay Sponsorships cost $1,000 for four guests, and Team Sponsors can secure seating for 10 guests for $2,500. For more information, additional sponsorship opportunities or to make reservations, contact Michelle Sherod at 314-749-5606 or Barbara Freeland at 314-922-3071 or visit

In 2000, Jackie Joyner-Kersee launched the JJK Center in East St. Louis, Illinois, a city where youth suffer from disproportionately high rates of food insecurity, gang violence and educational disadvantages. The youth and athletic center sits on 37 acres and offers a safe haven, caring adults and vital services to thousands of families and youth in the metropolitan St. Louis area. Visitors will find a wellness center, dance studio, learning resource center and science lab, basketball courts and softball, baseball and football fields at the center. Most important, the center serves as a supportive alternative to the streets.

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