Haley Cameron (B.A., ’15) took a somewhat circuitous route to CSU, spending the first semester of her freshman year at CU and the second at a college in Minnesota. When she enrolled at CSU for her sophomore year, she says she “found her place”; she “loved CSU.” Haley graduated with two degrees, one in journalism and technical communication and the other in languages, literatures, and cultures—Spanish.
This young Ram demonstrated a high-energy work ethic while she was on campus. She pledged Kappa Kappa Gamma and served as its philanthropy director. She also served as an intern in the CSU Athletics Department. In addition, she worked for 98.5 KYGO radio, a country music station in Denver, throughout college, and she put on Dance Marathon, a fundraiser for Children’s Hospital. She also found time to attend Ram football and basketball games, including the Las Vegas Bowl.
After graduation, Haley was not sure what she wanted to do. Her first job was with Kroenke Sports, working with the Nuggets and Avalanche. Next, she returned to KYGO. In addition to other assignments at the radio station, she did fund raising for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, which has a strong relationship with country music. St. Jude, located in Memphis, Tennessee, treats children with cancer and other pediatric diseases.
An Atmosphere of Hope
A visit to St. Jude focused the professional goals of this high-energy alumna. She speaks with heartfelt enthusiasm about this “amazing place” where she saw “little kids being pulled around in red wagons.” Despite the patients all being children with life-threatening medical situations, the hospital touched her deeply because of its atmosphere of hope. Families are not charged for anything—travel, housing, food, or treatments—while their children are patients there.
St. Jude opened in 1962 with major support from the late actor Danny Thomas, who had vowed to build a shrine to St. Jude Thaddeus if the saint would “help me find my way in life.” The hospital’s fundraising philosophy is “grass roots”; that is, they prefer to get $1 from a million people rather than $1 million from a single person, according to Haley. To that end, they do fund raising throughout the United States.
Inspired by her visit, Haley started working in fundraising for the hospital. She first landed a position in the St. Jude Nashville office, working with the hospital’s country music partners. She loved the job but missed Colorado, so she eventually transferred to the St. Jude office in Denver. She works for ALSAC—American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities, which was started by Danny Thomas to support St. Jude. The hospital not only treats children with no cost to families but also follows patients throughout their lives in an effort to find cures not only for childhood cancer but also sickle cell anemia and other diseases.
Among the fund-raising projects Haley has been involved in was the St. Jude Dream Home Give Away, which she worked on “with a number of great people.” Builders “basically donated a home worth approximately $700,000, and she sold lottery tickets at $100 each for a chance to win that home, raising $1.6 million. Two St. Jude Dream Home Giveaways occurred in Colorado; the combined 2021 campaigns raised $2.6 million.
This amazing CSU Alumni Association member loves being back home, in part because she loves the Colorado mountains. She also has become “a post-college runner.” Her first marathon? No surprise—it was a fundraiser for St. Jude!