With a little help from family and staff, the children of Grace United Methodist Church Child Enrichment Program taking part in last Friday’s Trike-A-Thon for St. Jude Children’s Hospital raised more than $700 more than the 2011 Trike-A-Thon did.
The church’s child enrichment program is directed by Kathy Stokes and Robin Bennett with Stokes also serving as coordinator for the St. Jude’s fundraiser. They, together with the parents and other members of the families of the children enrolled in the enrichment program, were on hand to watch, oversee and assist the young racers as they made their way around the makeshift track in the church parking lot. First up were the children in the Infant, 1K and 2K classes — some of them wearing helmets, knee pads and elbow pads — who rode tricycles, strollers and riding toys followed by those of the 3K and 4K classes who traveled faster around the track than their younger counterparts.
While there were a few spills here and there, children and adults alike enjoyed the event, which while fun had not one but two serious purposes.
“Trike-A-Thon is a fun program that exposes children to proper bike and riding toy safety and serves as a fundraiser for St. Jude,” Stokes said. “Since St. Jude started in 1962, founded by entertainer Danny Thomas, it has helped push the overall survival rate of childhood cancer from less than 20 percent to 80 percent today.”
Stokes said the day of the Trike-A-Thon is preceded by four days of instruction in riding safety. The children also learn about what the money they raise will mean for the children being treated at St. Jude’s.
This was the second year the child enrichment program at Grace United Methodist has held a Trike-A-Thon and Stokes said it was even more successful than last year’s.
“Last year was our first year and we raised $1,918,” Stokes said. “This year we raised $2,636.”