In 2006, Eric Trump (EVP of Development & Acquisitions at the Trump Organization) founded The Eric Trump Foundation in support of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and has since pledged almost $28 million to the hospital. In 2012, The Eric Trump Foundation Research Lab identified a critical fusion gene found to be responsible for nearly 30% of a rare type of childhood leukemia. Now in 2015, the foundation has announced the opening of The Eric Trump Foundation Surgical and ICU Center at St. Jude. The foundation financed the entire $20 million project, and Eric has been involved from the beginning.
What made you decide to focus your philanthropic efforts on children battling life-threatening diseases, and partner with St. Jude?
St. Jude is an incredible organization and they are unquestionably the best in the world at what they do—research and treatment of the most terminal forms of adolescent/pediatric cancer. Their protocols are used all over the world and their survival rates are unrivaled. Cancer research and treatment is expensive and cannot be done without substantial financing, which is why it’s so important to support their efforts. Doing so has become a major facet of my life and one in which I am incredibly passionate.
After opening the Surgical and ICU Center, what’s your next project?
The Eric Trump Foundation continues to grow exponentially every year and has turned into one of the largest private charities anywhere in the country and world. We will continue to use the backbone of The Trump Organization and our incredible friends and donors to raise money for the children of St. Jude. The doctors, scientists and researchers are working tirelessly to find a cure for pediatric cancer and we will work tirelessly to support them until they do.
What was one of the most special experiences you’ve had during your time with the foundation, either with children or their parents?
I visit St. Jude several times a year and each time is more special than the last. In doing so, you develop amazing relationships with the parents and the children, many who weren’t given a chance at life by other hospitals, but are thriving at St. Jude. Despite the ailments, it’s amazing to connect with these incredible children and to see their strength, positivity and perseverance—it truly puts life in perspective and will completely change you as a person.
What’s your favorite ETF fundraising event?
We have so many incredible events throughout the year. The Annual Eric Trump Foundation Golf Invitational, one of the largest golf outings in the country, located at Trump National Golf Club Westchester, is our signature event. Separately, all of the General Managers throughout the Trump Hotel Collection, The Trump Golf Collection, Trump Winery and many of our other properties battle it out to see which property can raise the most money for St. Jude. Last, but not least, events like Elvis “Trumps” Cancer, a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge with great friend and radio host, Elvis Duran, draws thousands of people to the Brooklyn Bridge each November to walk for a cure. Combined, these events raise millions of dollars every year, all of which goes directly to the hospital.