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Students raise more than $2K for St. Jude's
RUMFORD -- Heavy rains into Saturday gave way to bright sunshine as preschoolers to seventh graders took their bikes to Hosmer Field track.
Over the course of two hours, 29 youngsters from the Holy Savior Catholic School biked as many of the standing water pools on the quarter-mile track as they could find in an event that raised more than $2,200 for the St. Jude's Children's Hospital.
Holy Savior seventh grade teacher Michelle Ladd said the students raised a total of $1,200, but the school's pastor, Father Philip A. Tracy, said he'd match whatever they raised.
“Father Phil challenged other people in the parish to match it, so he'll be paying $1,000. He also challenged parishioners to contribute,” she said.
Some adults donated money at the event and walked laps during the two-hour event. The school will also take donations until the end of the week.
Each time young bikers completed a quarter-mile lap around the track, a seventh grader using a paper punch, cut a hole in a red-laminated lap card dangling from the twist ties of the handlebars.
Ladd said most of the people sponsored the kids up to five miles (20 laps), but some of the kids chose to do more. One of those was fourth grader Tyler Stewart, who was already on his third card, peddling his way towards 15 miles, or 60 laps around the track.
Ladd said the event was organized by the oldest kids of the school, a half dozen seventh graders.
Leading the effort were Hunter Sorensen and Stephen Nokes. The class designed materials, reserved the field, wrote press releases and contacted newspapers, contacted and wrote letters to the parish, and ran and participated in the event.
They also did research the bike-a-thon charity — St. Jude's Children's Hospital — and made a presentation to the other classes, which Sorensen and Nokes believe was the reason that there was a large than expected turnout of 29 students.
The students also established four rules for the event -- 1. Sign in; 2. Must wear a helmet; 3. Not leave bike on track; 4. Travel clockwise; 5. No bumping or reckless driving; 6. Sign out.
Another student, Jon Adley, a veteran of seventh of these bike-a-thons, actually came up with the idea for laminating lap cards because it rained the this event last year.
“This has been a good experience for them to learn good skills,” said Ladd.
The school has done this bike-a-thon fundraiser for as long as anyone can remember. "It's become one of the things we're known for," noted Ladd.
St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the family’s inability to pay.
"This worked out great," noted Ladd, adding, "Maybe next year, we'll ask the police to teach children about bicycle safety."
Six-year-old Alison Legere, with her Barbie Ride With Me Bicycle with training wheels, was one of 29 youngsters in Saturday's Holy Savior School Bike-a-Thon, which raised more than $2,200 for the St. Jude's Children's Hospital. (Times photo by Bruce Farrin)
Kindergartener Emma Dupuis, riding a modified 1960s purple Schwinn Slik Chik Stingray bicycle with a license plate of "Ol' Skool," did her part in the fundraising Bike-a-Thon for St. Jude's Children's Hospital. (Times photo by Bruce Farrin)