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MEMPHIS, TN -
(WMC-TV) - David L. McKee, a senior executive vice president and Chief Operating Officer of ALSAC (the fundraising arm of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital), passed away Friday evening following a car accident.
McKee started with ALSAC in 1977, serving in various roles during his tenure with the organization. McKee served as ALSAC's Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and Senior Vice President. He was influential in the creation of various St. Jude fundraising programs, including the St. Jude Country Cares radio program. McKee helped lead ALSAC for 35 years.
"David McKee was so much more than one of the world's great philanthropic leaders," said Rick Shadyac, ALSAC CEO in a press release. "He was a dear friend and mentor to me and many others who worked with him during his 35 year career at ALSAC. He also was a passionate advocate for the patients of St. Jude and for children everywhere who have benefited from our work. We have lost one of the icons of our organization and his family is in our hearts and prayers," he added.
"Dave was the steady, mostly unseen hand at ALSAC who helped St. Jude Children's Research Hospital become America's #2 Health Care Charity," stated Action News 5's Joe Birch. "When Dave started in 1977, St. Jude was raising less than $12 million. After his recent semi-retirement, he had helped propel SJCRH to a track toward reaping $800 million this year. He did it with grace, quiet resolve, careful attention to detail, countless friendships and an unswerving dedication to Danny Thomas' dream that ‘no child should die in the dawn of life.' Danny is making room for Dave McKee with Jude and the rest of the Saints in Heaven today. Sincere condolences to the McKee family and the ALSAC-St. Jude Family on this day."
McKee was recently honored with the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award by Fundraising Success magazine, helping lead the organization to achieve record growth.
Funeral details have not been released at this time.