Numbers mean $ for St. Jude’s

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- First graders at James Ellis School have recently finished up a fundraiser that garnered more than $3,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
The school has been participating in the Math-A-Thon fundraiser every year since 1988 and this year's effort of $3,333 was the most the school has ever raised. The school has raised nearly $20,000 for St. Jude since they began the program 15 years ago.
Math-A-Thon is an educationally-based fundraising program, in which kindergarten through ninth grade students obtain donations for the number of math problems that they complete in a special workbook provided by St. Jude.
Ellis teacher Peggy Maiers, who coordinates the Math-A-Thon program for the school, said the event is a valuable teaching tool to help young students become aware of the importance of helping others.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital was established in 1962 to help children with catastrophic childhood diseases, mainly cancer. It is one of the largest childhood cancer research centers in the world and also treats hundreds of young patients every day.
Maiers said it is a motivating factor for the children to know that their efforts are going to help children of the same age, who are less fortunate than themselves.
The survival rate for most forms of pediatric cancer has been reported to have risen dramatically over the last 40 years.
In 1962, the survival rate for the most common form of childhood cancer, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, was only four percent. It is presently up to an 80 percent survival rate.
With similar increases in survival rates for many forms of cancer, Maiers said it shows that raising money for cancer research can be a very important cause.
Four first grade classes at Ellis participated in this year's program including the classes of Marcia Dreger, Kelly Flenar, Elaine Beck and Maiers.
The top collectors were Melodi Reith with $310, Austin Stanage with $250, William Walters with $193 and Jordan Ham with $108.50.
A number of other first graders also made significant contributions.
All students who raised at least $35 received a Math-A-Thon T-Shirt and a ticket to Six Flags. Those raising at least $75 also got a Math-A-Thon duffle bag. The top fundraiser, Reith, was recognized for her effort by receiving a portable CD player.
Ellis School was rewarded with a barometer for the school for raising over $3,000.
Maiers also recognized the generous efforts of the sponsors who supported the Ellis students' participation in Math-A-Thon.

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