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Columbia educators enter St. Jude Memphis Marathon

MADISON – Like other campuses in Madison City Schools, Columbia Elementary School saw educators prove their commitment for outreach during the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend.

Each December, thousands of runners, walkers and spectators gather in Memphis, Tenn.’s downtown streets for the Memphis Marathon to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Every campus in Madison has had or currently has a student who received treatment at St. Jude. 

“We had teachers and administrators participate in the 5K, 10K and half marathon in Memphis. Columbia elementary raised $5,500 to help the families at St. Jude,” third-grade teacher Karen Jump said.

Along with Jump, run participants from Columbia included kindergarten teacher Alisha Courtney; inclusion/special education teacher Rebekah Duvall; Janene Frye, first-grade teacher; kindergarten teacher Casey Gaines; assistant principal Lisa Grice; first-grade teacher Molly Hayne; kindergarten teacher Laura Hester; and special education teacher Julia Nagle.

Explaining her reasons for entering the Memphis Marathon, Karen Jump said she was “choosing to walk for more than myself. I’m using my running to help save kids’ lives by fundraising for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as I train.”

“I walked for kids who might be too sick to run today, but who could one day be running alongside me because the money I raised helped find a cure for childhood cancer,” Jump said.

Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food, because the hospital’s philosophy believes a family should worry only about helping their child to live.

Since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago, treatments invented at St. Jude have helped raise the overall survival rate for childhood cancer from 20 percent to more than 80 percent.

As the hospital’s largest one-day fundraising event, the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend offers every runner a way to promote the lifesaving mission.

For more information about St. Jude, call 800-565-5112, email marathon@stjude.org or visit stjudemarathon.org.

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