At 10, Cora Butler has already set her goal in life – to become a nurse and help cure cancer. The Kentucky fourth-grader is well on her way to achieving part of that ambition through two successful fundraisers for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Cora attends East View Elementary in the Daviess County School District that includes Owensboro, Kentucky. And when she saw a commercial about St. Jude last year, Cora became passionate about the St. Jude mission: Finding cures. Saving children.®
“It was interesting to see her reaction to the video,” said Cora’s mother, Kelly Butler. “She got sad, but she got really mad, too.”
So Cora worked with her school’s guidance counselor to receive permission to hold her own fundraiser at the school, called Cora Cares, and raised nearly $400 for St. Jude in one day. The idea was simple: If students brought in $1, they could wear a hat to school for the day.
Cora Butler and her class helped raise over $400 for St. Jude in one day.
Guidance counselor LeVon Cozart was all for it: “Just to see the empathy and the leadership and the compassion she had at such a young age for a child she saw on television ... Someone she didn’t know but knew was having a hard time.”
Fast forward one year, and the second Cora Cares event more than quadrupled the fundraising amount of the first, raising $1,742.41 at the end of September, which was Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. That achievement is even more significant when you consider that more than 60 percent of the students at East View Elementary qualify for free or reduced-price lunches.
I want to do this until I graduate from college.
The funds raised through Cora Cares help ensure families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
This year, the school allowed students to wear hats for $1, pajamas for $2, bring a stuffed animal for $3 — or to do all three for a donation of $5. Cora’s mother also offered a pizza party to the class that brought in the most money.
Cora’s efforts earned an invitation to appear on Owensboro radio station WBKR 92.5 FM during the Country Cares for St. Jude Kids radiothon this February, and she plans to continue fundraising for St. Jude.