Paul Ayoub can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t trying to help the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. As a 7-year-old growing up in West Roxbury, he was knocking on doors and counting the nickels and dimes that he collected.
Now, Ayoub is going to be counting much larger denominations for the Memphis hospital: He became the new chairman of the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities this month. The nonprofit’s mission is to raise the money and awareness needed to keep St. Jude’s doors open; Ayoub expects the group to raise close to $1 billion in donations and grants this year.
The real estate lawyer at Nutter McClennen & Fish in Boston has always viewed ALSAC as an extension of his family: His parents were actively involved in the group, and his 21-year-old daughter Lizzie has performed at many St. Jude fundraisers and penned a song based on the hospital’s work. Ayoub has been on the group’s board since 1992.
It doesn’t bother Ayoub that the hospital is 1,300 miles away, in Memphis. The hospital’s impacts, he said, can be felt here in Boston and around the world, as the lessons learned from caring for children with cancer and other catastrophic illnesses at St. Jude are widely shared in the medical community. “Our protocols are used in hospitals everywhere,” Ayoub said. “It happens to be based in Memphis ,but it’s really an international research and care center.”Jon Chesto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jonchesto.