A look back: Paducah’s first St. Jude Dream Home
Paducah’s 2015 St. Jude Dream Home will be a special one because it will the 10th ever St. Jude Dream Home in Paducah. In the first 9 years, WPSD helped raised $6.5 million dollars for the children of St. Jude. Now, we want to take a look back at that very first Paducah Dream Home.
It was January 2006 that we broke ground for the very first Dream Home. It was in Pepper’s Mill Subdivision in McCracken County. The goal that year was to sell 6,000 tickets. We sold out by Spring.
That first year, we met Alli and Ellie, unofficially our first two local St. Jude kids. Alli Heilig was 6 months old at the time and had spent half of her young life at St. Jude.
Ellie McIntyre had just recently turned 4. Both of their moms spoke to us about the uncertainty of having a child with cancer; they each also talked about how St. Jude was giving them hope.
Ellie is 12 now and loves to hunt, sing and loves football.
Alli’s 9 now, in the 4th grade and doing very well.
Mike Mallory works closely with St. Jude to sell tickets and give away the home each year. He says he keeps a picture of Alli on his desk because she’ll always he the very first “St. Jude baby” that he did a story on.
Mike also recalled the first time he visited the St. Jude Children’s Hospital after Paducah’s first Dream Home Giveaway. He said he traveled with then-WPSD Photographer Michael Driver and said they were treated like rock stars when they arrived because the tickets to the Dream Home in Paducah sold so quickly. Mike said hospital staff asked him how he did it and Mike said he gave all the credit to the kindhearted people in the Local 6 area.