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Student council cheers on St Jude runners

Student council cheers on St Jude runners
Posted on 12/03/2018
Article written by Sarah Kelley, AHS teacher and Arlington Student Council advisor

Getting up at 5:00 a.m. is never easy for a teenager. On a Saturday? Impossible. But every first Saturday morning in December, multiple members of Arlington Student Council (ASC) do just that to spend their morning at St. Jude, cheering on the thousands of racers that help to raise millions for the hospital.

This event has become a group favorite for the council for many years. And this year it has a little more connection for the members.

Drew Edwards, ASC Senior Executive Board member, is also the Tennessee Association of Student Council Vice-President. One of his duties is to organize the state community service project. He decided to focus all of their efforts this year on St. Jude.

One of his big initiatives was to have every council across the state participate in the marathon in their own area of the state. "Volunteering is such a huge opportunity for me to give back to the community and show my appreciation for the work St. Jude does locally and globally," Edwards said when asked why he enjoys helping St. Jude.

But the mission of St. Jude also hits home for Edwards. He has an uncle who has battled cancer and is affected daily. Seeing his uncle fight and live his life with the effects of cancer has given him a deep appreciation of all of the work the research hospital does daily. "The marathon is an opportunity to cheer on the people that support the same cause that I do or that have battled the same battles that my uncle has," he continued.

Sarah Kelley, ACS teacher and student council advisor, said she's encouraged that so many teenagers are willing to give up a Saturday morning to support this cause.

"Like Drew, my uncle battled cancer," Kelley said. "Sadly, he didn’t win his battle. But the research St. Jude has been able to complete has allowed the survival rate of this type of cancer to increase to over 70 percent."

And it is for that reason she gets up the first Saturday of every December to cheer. “It’s only one part of supporting the work of St. Jude. But it’s a huge part.”

Overall, nearly 40 students from AHS cheered on the runners at the marathon.