The event was shown live on YouTube and supporters pledged through an online fundraising site. It raised almost $4,100 and half was donated to St. Jude.
That giving spirit makes it possible for families to 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.
Perez first became aware of St. Jude through the Country Cares for St. Jude Kids® radio fundraising program, hearing the powerful testimonials of St. Jude families on his favorite county music station.
Neither Perez nor any of his students had any experience with childhood cancer prior to the drum-a-thon. However, a middle school student also taught by Perez received a cancer diagnosis within weeks of the fundraiser.
Perez and his students know their support of St. Jude helps children in every community, because St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children.
The 20 high school drummers began their fundraiser to pay for drum heads and mallets. But thanks to a caring teacher, they also made a difference.
“For me, if I’m in front of children, I need to show them their role in society,” Perez said. “If we are to be successful as an organization and a community and a country, we need to take care of each other.”