POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - Poplar Bluff R-I has raised over $1 million for St. Jude since the 1988/89 academic year when the school system first became involved in the Math-A-Thon fundraiser.
The school is the only participant that has contributed on a district-wide basis for 30 years consistently, according to a representative from the children's research hospital.
"We thank the Poplar Bluff School District for allowing the students to participate in the St. Jude Math-A-Thon each year, continuing to help advance the mission of the hospital of finding cures and saving children," stated Ann Culpepper of St. Jude's Enterprise Contact Center.
The district's participation started at O'Neal Elementary with retired principal Lorenzo Sandlin, who unfortunately knew firsthand of the comfort the medical facility provides when a child tragically is inflicted with the disease.
While Math-A-Thon is a K-8 fundraiser, the entire district contributes in some capacity, including fun books, skate nights, dress-down days and much more.
About 8,500 children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases are treated at the Memphis hospital each year and their families never receive a bill for care, travel, housing or food.
The overall childhood cancer survival rate has increased from 20 to 80 percent because of treatments invented at St. Jude since the hospital opened its doors in 1962.
Sandlin and his wife Debbie were honored for adopting the cause in order to teach students the importance of charity during the special recognition portion of the school board meeting on Thursday, April 19, in the Administrative Building.