Thanks to the generosity of an Issaquah local, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will be receiving an extra boost this holiday season.
Entrepreneur and brain injury survivor Dave Anastasi made a $25,000 donation on Dec. 12 to the Issaquah Best Buy’s annual St. Jude fundraiser, meeting the store’s total goal to raise $30,000. All of the money is directly donated to St. Jude.
Anastasi worked as the founder and president of the Global ChipCard Alliance in the late 1990s, was the president and CEO of the software company Captaris from 2000 to 2008, and he continued working in tech until he suffered a brain injury in 2012.
Since then he as worked with the Brain Injury Alliance of Washington and formed his own foundation called “I’m Still Me” to provide support and resources to others who live with brain injuries.
Scott Campbell, general manager at Best Buy’s Issaquah location, said the company holds a yearly fundraising drive for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital nationwide. In 2017 Best Buy donated a total of $20 million.
On a local level, Campbell said the store was trying to raise more than they had last year. Campbell and the staff drew a thermometer on one of the wall as a visual for shoppers showing how much progress the store had made toward its goal.
Anastasi walked in on Dec. 11 looking to purchase iPads and other gifts to donate to the Ronald McDonald House charity. Campbell said Anastasi’s purchase came out to $2,500 short of his card’s limit, and when asked for a donation he donated the remaining $2,500 to max out the card.
A $2,500 donation was amazing, Campbell said, but Anastasi told him he would come back the next day with a $15,000 check. Anastasi however, surprised Campbell and the rest of the employees with a $25,000 donation.
“I was absolutely floored,” Campbell said. “Thanks to Dave we increased our goal from $30,000 to $50,000, and we want to continue to keep pushing the envelope to set records to try and beat it again next year.”
Large donations are great, but Campbell said the majority of donations are from customers rounding up their bill or choosing to donate a few extra dollars. Every little bit counts, he said, and added up it all helps the company donate as much as possible for children to get the help they need.
The donation drive continues until Feb. 2, 2019, Campbell said. He hopes the support the store has seen from community members will continue to raise the bar for donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the future.