Fighting Cancer: Burr Ridge School’s Relay for Life Tops $117K in Donations


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BURR RIDGE, Ill. — Pleasantdale Middle School has surpassed a significant milestone, raising over $117,000 for the American Cancer Society since the inception of its annual Relay for Life fundraiser 16 years ago. 

This year alone, 350 students from the Burr Ridge school contributed $11,000 to the cause.

According to Pleasantdale Middle School fifth grade teacher Jennifer Lauermann, founder and director of the Relay, the results were announced Thursday morning at Walker Park in Burr Ridge. 

Students, teachers, and family members gathered for a 90-minute walk and run on the park’s walking path.

Culminating weeks of bake sales, lemonade stands, and a magic show by students, the outdoor event on the final day of classes significantly contributed to the overall total. Lauermann mentioned that donations are still coming in.

She highlighted top student fundraisers, fifth grader Elizabeth Buchanan and seventh grader Isaiah Garcia Ramirez, who each brought in more than $500. Cancer survivors Jennifer Mehlman, Jean Benson, and Fred Bell kicked off the walk by carrying a survivors’ banner. Students signed “Why I Walk” whiteboards before and during the event, listing relatives and friends lost to cancer.

“We want to stop this disease in its tracks,” Lauermann said. “We have spent weeks fundraising for the American Cancer Society to honor the lives lost to cancer, celebrate survivors, and support the caregivers who so selflessly help others.”

The funds raised help ACS fund innovative research, provide rides to treatment, offer places to stay for patients undergoing treatment far from home, and provide free information to people dealing with the disease. “Our money is helping save lives,” Lauermann added.


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