This year, the children at School No. 7 in Dunkirk gave new meaning to "March Madness." Instead, they renamed it March Mathness and the school became devoted raising money for St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. Ninety children returned envelopes with sponsor money to help the children at St. Jude's. Many children took part in Friday activities that also helped raise money. It was a successful effort worked on by many people, including students from Fredonia State University. A celebration was held in May to celebrate this achievement.
The Mathathon is a fundraising program to help the children of St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, which helps every child who needs medical attention for cancer to be treated. It costs $1.5 million dollars a day to run St. Jude's.
School No. 7 has taken part in the Mathathon annually since 2004. During those six years, the third- through fifth-graders took part in the Mathathon and raised a total of $8,059. The whole school took part in the fundraising effort this year, making a considerable difference. In just one year, the school contributed $4,440.20 to help the children of St. Jude's. The 2011 Mathathon is dedicated to Joe Migliore, brother of School No. 7 fourth-grade teacher Susan Chaffee. Migliore lost a battle with cancer in September 2010.
OBSERVER Photos by Matt Panebianco
The three above photos include Dunkirk School No. 7 students, all participants in a school-wide effort that raised $4,440.20 for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
The school began the Mathathon with a kick-off assembly on Feb. 28. The assembly was run by the students from Fredonia State University who are members of the club Fredonia State for St. Jude's. This group of young adults is run by Megan Allers and Jeanne Pendl. This highly-motivated gro-up has been recognized nationally for their efforts for St. Jude's.
The Mathathon included Friday fundraisers to include everyone and raise more money for this worthwhile effort. All students donated money or paid with two pages from their Mathathon Funbook. School No. 7 had a March Madness shoot-a-thon, a crazy Madhatters contest (with Wal-Mart generously donating five $5 gift cards for the winners), and March munchies (with M&Ms donated by an anonymous donor). On the last Friday, all children who turned in their sponsor envelope had their name written on a $100 bill and showcased outside the office. Art teacher Miss Mielke made a huge ruler to show the increasing amount of money donated, and posters for each event held in school. Thanks are extended to Mielke for her contributions. Thanks are also extended to the local Beaver and Moniuszko clubs.
The children of School No. 7 were very generous. Nine children raised more than $100 to help St. Jude's: Matthew Weaver, Nicholas Thompson, Aston Witkowski, Lucas Zielinski, Savannah Ernest, Jeremy Bohn, Alexis Tofil, Keysha Eddy and Isabella Begier. Each year, the school's top fundraiser is added to an honor plaque posted by the school office. This year, that student was kindergartner Savannah Ernst who raised $558.00 for St. Jude's. School No. 7 congratulates Savannah and everyone who contributed to this fundraiser.