Charities typically wouldn’t want to shoot their donors into space. For one, it likely would cripple their long-term value to the organization. But seriously, it isn’t what you might be thinking. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will have two seats on the first all-civilian mission to space, planned for the fourth quarter this year by SpaceX in Hawthorne, Calif.
The mission will be named Inspiration4 in recognition of the crew’s mission to inspire support for St. Jude. Jared Isaacman, the founder and CEO of Shift4 Payments, is donating three mission seats alongside him to crew members who will be selected “to represent the million pillars of leadership, hope, generosity and prosperity.”
The two seats for St. Jude will be reserved for an ambassador “with direct ties to the mission who exemplifies the pillar of hope as well as the courageous vision upon which St. Jude was founded — compassion, unity, equality and inclusion,” and the other will represent the mission pillar of generosity.
Members of the public can enter for a chance to join the flight to space and support the mission of St. Jude. Isaacman has committed $100 million to St. Jude in an attempt to raise $200 million or more in support of the hospital’s multi-billion-dollar expansion aimed to accelerate research advancements. He will also offer additional support to the fundraising effort in the form of other prizes, including flights in a military jet and flight gear.
An accomplished pilot rated to fly commercial and military aircraft, Isaacman holds several world records, including a Speed-Around-The-World to raise money and awareness for Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Isaacman will collaborate with Shift4 Payments to offer the fourth crew seat, representing the prosperity mission pillar, to an entrepreneur who uses the new Shift4Shop eCommerce platform. The competition will run through Feb. 28 with the winner selected by a panel of independent judges.
Allentown, Pa.-based Shift4 Payments is providing marketing support for the mission during Super Bowl LV. They will air a 30-second ad during the first quarter of the Sunday’s game and invite viewers to support and be part of the journey through the St. Jude and Shift4Shop programs.