Diversified carrier Averitt Express has donated $350,000 to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital during a formal event held at the hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
The gift, which was collected entirely from Averitt associate contributions during 2009, marks the 17th annual donation from "Averitt Cares for Kids" to St. Jude.

Averitt Cares for Kids, launched in 1986, is 100 percent funded by voluntary contributions from Averitt associates. Since its creation, Averitt Cares for Kids has donated more than $5 million to charities, including St. Jude.

In September 2007, Averitt Cares for Kids completed a $1.5 million endowment to help fund the initial construction of the St. Jude Leukemia and Lymphoma Clinic, through which the majority of St. Jude patients are treated. Averitt associates' most recent contribution will support the research and lifesaving care at St. Jude, including the Leukemia and Lymphoma Clinic.

"Averitt associates have been making a difference in the lives of so many children and their families at St. Jude for nearly 20 years now," said John D. Remington, senior vice president of corporate alliances at ALSAC, the fundraising organization of St. Jude. "This year was no different, as their $350,000 gift will further expand the first class patient care and groundbreaking research that takes place here each day."

"Averitt associates have always been focused on giving back to our communities, and we believe there's no better way for us to do that than through our support of St. Jude," said Gary D. Sasser, Averitt's president and CEO. "In fact, during these difficult economic times when many are giving less or not at all to charitable organizations, participation in Averitt Cares for Kids has been increasing."

For more information about Averitt Cares for Kids, click here.