St. Jude benefits from West Madison pets

Dogs, cats — even a millipede — vied for bragging rights in the Adorable Pet Contest at West Madison Elementary School.

A millipede was one entry in the Adorable Pets Contest at West Madison Elementary School.

Principal Dr. Daphne Jah coordinated the contest as one of several fundraisers that West Madison conducts for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

West Madison donated all proceeds to St. Jude in honor of Ross, a former student who now is enrolled at Discovery Middle School.

“Ross found out last May on the last day of school that he had non-Hoskins lymphoma,” Jah said. “He was rushed to St. Jude and spent most of the summer there.” Students also sent photographs and video messages to Ross while he is in Memphis.

Jah heard that Liberty Middle School had held a pet contest and thought it was a great idea for West Madison. Any student with any pet could enter a photograph in the contest.

“We had 37 entries with dogs, cats, a gerbil … we even had a picture of a millipede,” Jah said. Students paid $5 to enter, and the student body (and some parents) paid 50 cents for each vote.

“We had some of the most adorable pets. There was one picture of a cat with a chef’s hat on and a pan of fruit in front of it,” Jah said. In another photo, a dog was sitting behind a guitar and ‘playing’ it.

The pet contest raised $730. “Our three winners were Courtney, Lydia and Drake,” Jah said.

The Adorable Pets Contest included a 'cat chef.'

In another fundraiser, students invited fathers, uncles and grandfathers to “Donuts for Dads” on Nov. 15. Each man who made a donation to St. Jude received a donut and juice. Some individuals donated online.

Donuts for Dads raised $1,100. “It was a great day,” Jah said. “Publix and Walmart each donated 100 donuts.”

This fall, West Madison met Jah’s goal of $2,000 for St. Jude. “It is a blessing to be able to help children in this way,” Jah said.

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