By Donna Summerall
For more than 10 years, students at East Side Pre-Kindergarten and East Side Kindergarten classes have ridden tricycles and bicycles to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and neighbors sponsor the littlest bikers helping St. Jude battle childhood cancers.
East Side Pre-K will ride in the parking lot in front of the school 10 a.m. Thursday, April 3, and East Side Kindergarten will ride up and down East Broad Street 1 p.m. Friday, April 4. The street will be blocked from 12:30 – 2:30 p.m. courtesy of the West Point Police Department, according to Coach Casey Welch of East Side Elementary.
“We ask that parents drop off trikes and bikes the morning of the trike-a-thon,” said Welch. “The kids must have bike helmets to ride. We want the ride to be fun and safe. It’s always a great event to do our part for St. Jude.”
There is a safety program leading up to the event, Welch said. The kids learn about riding safety and they learn about what sort of hospital St. Jude is. He said East Side has had children who have received treatment at St. Jude and their stories help the children understand what sort of help children who have cancer receive.
“We raised $6,500 last year,” said Rebecca DeSantis, one of the teachers organizing the event. “We plan to exceed that amount this year. Every child who participates makes a $5 donation to St. Jude and then whatever else they raise by asking family and friends to sponsor them. Parents and grandparents come out and cheer for them, it’s just a lot of fun and a great way to raise money and awareness for St. Jude.”
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