ZEIGLER, IL (KFVS) - Students at a Southern Illinois High School have raised nearly $100,000 for cancer research making them national leaders in the fight against cancer.
Zeigler-Royalton High School students have raised $96,000 since 2010 for the American Cancer Society's Coaches vs. Cancer fundraiser.
The small school of 160 students in rural Franklin County is now ranked the number one high school in Illinois, and seventh in the nation for their fund-raising efforts.
Volunteer and organizer of the ZRHS fund-raising efforts, Randy Risley, said the program has grown tremendously only through community support.
Students have hosted Pink Out Games, raffles, and dinners to raise the funds.
"We're doing something," Risley said. That this school and this community, small as we are is doing a substantial, making a substantial difference."
Risley, 70, lost his father to cancer when he was 17-years-old. He said many people like himself have been effected by cancer and that's why they're stepping up to help.
Freshman student Jacob C., 14, has been helping out with the program since he was in the fifth grade. His uncle did of cancer and his grandfather has battled it several times.
"It affected me a lot in my life... So, it made meant a lot to me to like try my hardest to figure out a way to, any way possible just to figure out a way to get more money for cancer to raise awareness," Jacob said.
ZRHS has raise $9,000 so far this year and are only $4,000 away from passing their goal of $100,000.
The next fund-raising event will take place at West Frankfort Bowl in West Frankfort, Ill. The fundraiser will take place in two parts, once at 11 a.m. and again at 3 p.m.
Any schools interested in taking part in Coaches vs. Cancer can contact the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.