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Appalachian Child Development Center raises $2,000 for St. Jude

BOONE—Appalachian State University’s Child Development Center (CDC) raised more than $2,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital during the annual St. Jude Trike-A-Thon. Funds raised will support the research and treatment of childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

View larger imageAppalachian State University Child Development Center preschool students and teachers are pictured with their Trike-A-Thon T-shirts and ribbons. Director Peggy Eller, preschool teacher Brenda Bodenhamer and student teachers Mariano Ayala and Alyssa Hensley are pictured from the left on the back row. Students on the back row are Melody Baker, left, Jack Klima, Brayden Howard, Macy Whitaker, Sam Cheves, Marisa Willis, Addin Hodges, Sofia Stull and Mae Matthews. Students pictured from left on the front row are Aiden Culpepper, Ahnali Lopez, Mia Mitchell, Gavin Wright, Rowan Weigl, Sophie Dewhirst, Finn Timbers and Daniela Sanchez. Not pictured are Ashika Paudel and Evangline Mittan. Photo credits: Sabrina Cheves, Kristin Walls.View larger image

The fundraiser is part of a weeklong program where kids learn safety skills for riding toys.

The children are students in the CDC’s preschool class.

Many of the 20 students brought tricycles and bicycles from home, while some borrowed riding equipment from the CDC. All children participated in the Trike-A-Thon on the CDC grounds.

“This is the eighth year that Appalachian Child Development Center has participated in the St. Jude Trike-A-Thon,” said CDC Director Peggy Eller. “We are excited to host the program every year because it’s a fun activity we can easily incorporate into our existing enrichment programs. Not only did we teach our children valuable safety lessons, we taught them how they could help kids like them who are fighting to have a sense of normalcy in their lives after battling cancer and other life-threatening diseases.”

“Our preschoolers and our student teachers value the experience,” said Brenda Bodenhamer, CDC preschool teacher and CDC Trike-A-Thon coordinator. “It’s a very rewarding experience to teach empathy and philanthropy to young children.”

Bodenheimer had set the class goal at $1,200, but the students, and generous family members and friends, raised more than $2,000.

The 2015 amount was the most money raised by the CDC for St. Jude since the school began participating in the Trike-A-Thon event.

Students were also awarded prizes including St. Jude Trike-A-Thon T-shirts based on fundraising levels achieved.

About Appalachian Child Development Center

The Appalachian State University Child Development Center aims to provide quality childcare especially for the children of Appalachian students, faculty and staff while providing university students the opportunity to work individually and in groups with preschool-aged children. The center is a five-star licensed facility sponsored by Appalachian State University’s Division of Student Development that serves approximately 60 families from the university community.

About St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. St. Jude has the world’s best survival rates for some of the most aggressive childhood cancers, and treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since it opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90 percent in the next decade. St. Jude freely shares the breakthroughs it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because the hospital believes that all a family should worry about is helping their child live. For more information, visit or call 1-800-626-BIKE (2453).