Students collect big for St. Jude

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 23, 2000

Decatur – With only 97 students at Rock Hill Elementary No.

Tuesday, May 23, 2000

Decatur – With only 97 students at Rock Hill Elementary No. 1, principal Jerry Evans hoped his students would be able to raise $300 at the most during the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Math-A-Thon this February. After the final totals were in, however, Evans drew in his breath with surprise.

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"This little building raised over $1,300," he said. "I couldn’t be happier. The community, parents, Parent-Teacher Organization – it wasn’t just a school thing – it took community involvement."

The Math-A-Thon, now in its 21st year, is an educationally based fund-raising program in which students obtain sponsors for the number of math problems completed in special workbooks, Evans said.

The students who participate in the program learn to do more than just math problems, however. They also learn the importance of helping children who are less fortunate than themselves, he said.

"We are very proud of our students for working so hard on the Math-A-Thon," Evans said. "With their help, St. Jude Hospital will be able to create new treatments that may one day lead to a cure for many forms of cancer that will benefit the children of our state, our country and around the world. I also want to extend our thanks to the Pedro community for supporting our students. It takes all of us to make a difference in the lives of children with cancer and we can all feel proud of our response."

Collecting money for such a good cause was not difficult, said fourth-grader Kayla Kelly and third-grader Rachel Massie, who were the top collectors bringing in $90 each.

"We went to people we knew and asked for money," Rachel said.

Kayla’s strategy was about the same, with a small twist.

"I told them about it and they gave me money," she said. "The money helps them out and helps them fight cancer so the kids can get better."

Students were awarded prizes for their participation in the event. Everyone received a certificate. If a student collected $35 or more, he or she received a T-shirt and Six Flags coupon. If the student collected $75 or more, he or she received a gym bag.

Participating students included kindergartners Kennedi Freels and Jonathan Schob; first-graders Jarred Collins, Shane Russell, Stephanie DePriest, Kimberly McGuire, Bradley Sturgill and Megan Russell; second-graders Bryce Freels, Jordan Fuhr and Zachariah Markel; third-graders Tony Burge, Michael Friend, Rachel Massie, Melinda Spencer and Misty Spencer; fourth-graders Kristina Friend, Haley Fuhr, Kayla Kelly, Cody Massie, Leah McFann, Mark Miller and Amber Potter; and fifth-graders Danielle Burge, Aaron Dillon, Donald Malone, Andy Ross, Mica Rupp, Jason Snavely, Dustin Sparks and Krista Russell.