Gold is a school color for Memorial Park Elementary School in Jasper, Alabama, and that made “going gold” for the kids of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month a natural fit.
The school took the month’s awareness campaign as an opportunity to have a special fundraiser for St. Jude. For one week, Memorial Park’s 580 kindergarten through fifth-grade students could dress up to a specific theme for $1 a day starting with the popular “pajamas on Monday,” said fourth-grade teacher and student council co-advisor Meghan Fincher. The pajama day was dubbed “Dreaming for a Cure Day.”
Students also could dress as they saw themselves as adults for “Surviving into the future” Tuesday; as a rock star for “Survivors Rock” Wednesday; and as their favorite superhero for Thursday’s “Superheroes of Hope.”
Students ended the week with “Go Gold” Friday, where they creatively dressed in gold to help raise childhood cancer awareness, Fincher said. The five-day event raised more than $2,400.
Fincher said that teachers and students were inspired by a classmate diagnosed with kidney cancer who missed much of last year for treatment. Though not treated at St. Jude, the young girl is now in remission, enjoying her favorite activities and serving on the student council, said Fincher.
Giving back and thinking of others is a core tenant of instruction at Memorial Park Elementary, and Fincher, whose family has been a long-time supporter of St. Jude, suggested the campaign to support St. Jude. Though she’s never had a family member seek treatment there, she does have two young children of her own, so the mission hits close to home.
“When you see those parents and hear their stories ... If it doesn’t tug at your heart, then nothing will," said Fincher.