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Students use math to fund medical research

If your kid really is an honor student and he or she attends Marengo High School, you may want to suggest to them that they participate in the fourth annual Math-A-Thon.

In addition to winning prizes for themselves, students will raise money to donate to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to help children who are stricken with life-threatening diseases such as cancer, AIDS and sickle cell anemia.

“St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is a world leader in the fight against these diseases and they have made great progress, but only because of the help of people like the citizens of Marengo County,” event coordinator Regina Kennedy said. “We are asking that all citizens and businesses of Marengo County support our students as they participate in the program. We really need everyone’s help.”

Kennedy said she began passing out information packets Monday, Jan. 9 and once she orders the books, students will have seven days to work through the problems and collect funds from sponsors and donors.

“This is our third year doing this and so far we’ve donated about $8,000,” Kennedy said. “We raised $3,700 the first year, $2,100 the second and $2,500 last year. This year we set a goal of $5,000.”

Kennedy said an average of 60 children participate in the program every year, but she is hoping for a better turnout this year thanks to some great incentives.

” The students get a certificate just for participating. If they raise $35, they get a t-shirt and a pass to Six Flags,” she said. “If they raise $75, they get the pass, t-shirt and a bookbag. And the one who raises the most over $125 gets all of that, plus they chose from a digital camera and a MP3 player.”

According to the hospital’s webpage, St. Jude has never turned a child away because of the family’s inability to pay since opening in 1962 and currently treats about 200 children a day.

Although the facility’s daily operating costs are $1,027,832, which are primarily covered through public contributions, St. Jude families don’t pay for treatments not covered by insurance and are never asked to pay if they don’t have insurance.

“This is to help raise money for the kids. Our students don’t know if they may need St. Jude one day or when it would hit close to home,” Kennedy said. “Someone from our community is using St. Jude now, so hopefully this will be a big influence on the kids.”

To make a donation to the Math-A-Thon, contact Regina Kennedy at (334) 992-2395 and to learn more about St. Jude, visit www.stjude.org.

– reporter@demopolistimes.com