7 Heritage elementary reps raise $8,810 in St. Jude Memphis Marathon

MADISON – During the 2023 St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend, seven runners representing Heritage Elementary School raised approximately $9,000 to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The marathon weekend is the pinnacle event for St. Jude Heroes as the largest single-day fundraiser. As St. Jude Heroes, seven runners from Heritage did not only participate in the race . . . they used their strength to positively influence the lives of children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases. (stjude.org)

The St. Jude Heritage Heroes included Miranda Biggers, fifth-grade teacher and Cross Country Sponsor; Amy Carter, kindergarten teacher and Mini-Cross Country Sponsor; Heather Kell, fifth-grade teacher and Cross Country Sponsor; Assistant Principal Kristin Kolenich; Cailtyn Morris, physical education teacher and Mini-Cross Country Sponsor; Principal Dr. Georgina Nelson; and Patrick Nelson, local attorney and Dr. Nelson’s husband.

Renasant Convention Center in downtown Memphis hosted several marathon events on Dec. 2. The 5K/10K’s starting line was B.B. King Boulevard and Madison Avenue. The marathon/half-marathon started at B.B. King Boulevard and Beale Street.

The race route ended at the Finish Festival in AutoZone Stadium and Park, home of the Memphis Redbirds.

Nelson said St. Jude has always held a special place in her heart. “We have students at our school almost every year who benefited from the research and care from St. Jude. Families never receive a bill for medical care at St. Jude, and the care is world class,” Nelson said.

“Researchers and physicians at St. Jude have turned around the survival rate for childhood cancer from 20 percent to 80 percent. As long as that 20 percent is still out there, St. Jude will continue research and sharing their research to help these precious children,” Nelson said.

“My husband, Patrick, and I decided early on in our marriage to support St. Jude not only financially but through our service and to help spread awareness,” Nelson said. For the past decade, the Nelsons have participated as St. Jude Heroes in the Memphis Marathon.

“We’re so proud that Heritage shared this passion of service and support of St. Jude,” Nelson said. Heritage consistently raises between $8,000 to $10,000 annually. Heritage supports fun activities like Pajama Day, Hat Day, donut sales, Coin Wars and pumpkin contests to raise $1 at a time.

“My career has been dedicated to helping kids learn in school,” kindergarten teacher Amy Carter said. “I’ve always been a runner, and this fundraising event just felt right. It brings me joy in my heart to also help kids sick with cancer.”

Fifth-grade teacher Miranda Biggers wanted to join Heritage Heroes because childhood cancer has directly impacted several Heritage families. Running through St. Jude’s campus during the marathon, “we heard cheers from actual patients,” Biggers said.

One year, Biggers was struggling to finish the race, and a St. Jude patient held up a sign stating, “If I can, you can.” “This was probably the most motivating, inspirational moment of my life,” Biggers said. “Needless to say, I cried across the finish line.”

“Each year, I choose to be a part of this team because I don’t want to forget that moment and how even one person can make a difference,” Biggers said.

The 2023 fundraising goal for St. Jude is $15 million. If interested in donating to St. Jude, visit fundraising.stjude.org/site/TR/Heroes/SJMMW?px=3563111&pg=personal&fr_id=144988.

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