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CANNELTON - Cannelton students need community members' help when they work Saturday to save the lives of other children.
The Cannelton Teachers Association is sponsoring its 32nd annual Wheels for Life Bike-athon for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital from 9 to 11 a.m. at Myers Grade School in Cannelton.
The bike-athon consists of a 10-mile route around Cannelton. Cannelton police officers and other adult supervisors will patrol the route to protect riders and direct traffic. Younger sponsored riders - those riding trikes or bikes with training wheels - will ride on a small route on the back playground at Myers.
Bike-athon riders must be sponsored to raise money to support St. Jude Children's Hospital's efforts to save the lives of children who have cancer and other catastrophic childhood illnesses. The hospital does not charge families who do not have insurance or other means to pay for their children's treatment. Money for treatment must come from donations and fundraising events such as this bike-athon.
"Riders know they are riding to save lives," event Chairwoman Joan Goble said, explaining the hospital also conducts research to help find new and improved treatments and a cure for cancer.
As an incentive for students to participate, she said, prizes will go to students collecting the most money for the hospital. Top prizes include a new bicycle and helmet, Holiday World & Splashin' Safari passes, gift certificates from area stores and restaurants, and more.
Each participant who collects $35 or more for the hospital will receive an official St. Jude's bike-athon T-shirt. Anyone who collects $75 or more will receive an official T-shirt and matching backpack.
The Cannelton classroom with the highest percentage of riding participants will receive a trophy to keep in their room. The Cannelton classroom raising the most money will receive a pizza party.
"Riders do not have to be Cannelton students to ride," Goble stressed.
Anyone who would like to ride can pick up a sponsor sheet in the Myers Grade School office.
Anyone who would like to sponsor a rider, donate to the ride or who has any questions can contact Goble at 547-4126.