UNION COUNTY — The children of a local church day care took to their wheels to raise money for a hospital that for more than 50 years has provided free medical care to children of all races and faiths.
Founded in 1962 by entertainer Danny Thomas, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is a pediatric treatment and research facility focused on children’s catastrophic diseases. The mission of St. Jude’s, which is located in Memphis, TN, is to “advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay.”
To help St. Jude in its mission, Bethel United Methodist Church Childcare Day Care Center, holds a Trike-A-Thon each year.
“This is our twelfth event,” Director Pat Hendrix said Thursday morning. “We started in 2003 and it has been an annual event ever since.”
Hendrix said that each year, the children enrolled in the day care center collect money from family, friends, and neighbors and then ride their tricycles, bicycles and other riding toys around in the church parking lot.
Since it began, Hendrix said the Trike-A-Thon has raised nearly 10,000 for St. Jude’s.
“The total raised up until today it $8,740.75,” Hendrix said. “Today, the children have raised $1,086.70, but more is still coming in.”
Hendricks said that the top three fundraisers for Thursday’s Trike-A-Thon were:
• 1st Place — Kelsey Thorn ($110.20)
• 2nd Place — Lexi Robinson ($100.50)
• 3rd Place — McKenzie Brewington ($100)
A total of 29 children ages 2-5 took part in Thursday’s Trike-A-Thon.
Part of the church parking lot was roped off for Thursday’s event and renamed so that the children could ride their bicycles, tricycles and other riding toys from Teddy Bear Drive to Honeycomb Wells to St. Jude’s Place to Huggins Circle and then back again. The children were assisted by the day care’s staff and encouraged to ride to their heart’s content by the small crowd of parents and other children who’d gathered to watch and support them.
Everyone had a good time doing a good thing to support a good cause.