(St. Jude) Katharine McPhee
St. Jude Children's Hospital Gets A Voice in Pop Singer McPhee
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DECEMBER 20, 2011
Meg Zrini, MSNBC

Singer and actress McPhee was runner-up on the fifth season of "American Idol." She released her first album in 2007, which included her single "Over it" that was a Pop Top 30 hit and certified gold. She has released two more albums since then. Katherine has also been seen on the screen with small roles in TV and film; she will be starring in the NBC show "Smash."
Interview by Meg Zrini
Q: How did you first get involved with St. Jude’s?
McPhee: Last year, I visited the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital a couple times and they got to take me around. I got to go to some of the laboratories where they were doing the work and research for the kids. Target came to me and I hosted their carnival. I sang a little song for the kids and helped them decorate for the carnival. Last year, I also did a holiday video, a song called "Life Time," featuring some kids from the hospital. We had a big pizza party during the holidays. So it was last year when I got involved.
Q: What do you enjoy most about your work with St. Jude’s?
McPhee: What I enjoy the most is hearing the stories of the kids and the families that I meet and the legacy of St. Jude’s and what they give to the families. None of them pay for travel, food or lodging. It’s no-questions-asked for these families whether they have a lot of money or no money. St Jude’s comes in and takes care of these children. It’s the best hospital to send your child if they have cancer. If you are in a horrible situation like that, where your child is diagnosed with something, you can go to St. Jude’s and have everything taken care of for you and I think it is a very special place.
Q: Are there any experiences that are particularly moving?
McPhee: The video that I did with the kids last year during Christmas time was very special. There was one kid who was in the video. This little girl who looked like she was going to be OK and I found out that her illness was pretty terminal. Being there with her parents and watching these parents look at their little girl and not taking any moment for granted. Being able to see that. It’s sad but it is also how we all should live.
Q: What are your short term goals with the charity?
McPhee: I hope that I can bring awareness to St Jude’s. What their vision is and what it is that they do. I’ve known about St. Jude and I think most people know about St Jude’s because of the wonderful commercials they do but I didn’t realize it was such an amazing organization. In a very small way, I try to raise awareness within my own fan base. Last year, I raised some money for it. It’s something I’ve been doing to help campaign for it.
Q: Do you have any long-term goals with the charity?
McPhee: When I was in Memphis, I visited Ryan Seacrest and he has an amazing studio where the kids can go in and play. They can even do radio interviews from that spot. I’d love to extend that eventually into some sort of adding on, raise money and build a stage where artists can come and perform there with a real sound system and real lighting system. Artists that these children really know so the Justin Biebers of the world could come and do little mini concerts there so these kids can really be taken out of there environment. Just for a moment, for an hour or two, taken out of where they actually are.
That’s ultimately what I would like to do but that’s going to take some time and that’s going to take a separate fundraiser but that is what I would really like to do. I started doing charitable thing about six years ago and I love anything to do with children. I’m happy to do doing stuff with them.
Read a related interview with Marlo Thomas, who also works with St. Jude Children's Hospital: www.happynews.com/news/12202011/marlo-thomas

© 2011 msnbc.com
Reproduced with permission of MSNBC, from Marlo Thomas, Katharine McPhee team up for sick kids: St. Jude Children's Hospital gets a boost from actress, pop singer by Meg Zrini, December 15, 2011; permission conveyed through Copyright Clearance Center, Inc.

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