Some Lakeside Middle School pupils recently got to roll out of bed and into the classroom wearing their pajamas.
The pupils paid $1 to violate the school's dress code for the day, but it was all for a good cause.
Ashley Renew, a sixth-grade language arts teacher at Lakeside Middle School, is participating in the Country Music Marathon on April 26 in Nashville, Tenn. Money raised by participants in the marathon benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Renew has enlisted the help of her school and local civic organizations to help her meet her $3,000 goal.
"My students are raising a lot of money and have really been pouring their hearts out," she said.
Other fund-raising activities Renew has planned include Candy Grams and Pennies for Patients, to name a few. Part of the proceeds from the school's Valentine's dance also went to help her reach her goal. Several student organizations have also helped her make posters to publicize the events.
Renew will run and walk 26.2 miles in the Country Music Marathon. She's now involved in the Team in Training program, which offers training and support for marathon participants.
Ashley Renew jogs at the Augusta canal to get in shape for the Country Music Marathon on April 26 in Nashville, Tenn. Money raised by participants in the marathon benefits the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
She trains five days a week.
"We're up to 14 miles on Saturdays, and eventually we'll get to 20 miles in April," said Renew.
She said her nephew, 7-year-old Dalton King, who is in his third year of remission from leukemia, has been her inspiration during training.
"What's 26 miles when he has fought this for three years? When I commit to something, I'm going to carry it through," Renew said. "This is something I just feel a desire to do, and right now in my life it's something I can physically do."
She said running has been a challenge for her because she never has been a runner or walker. Her team includes two other women who will participate in a marathon.
"Without my husband and my family, I really wouldn't be able to do it," said Renew, who along with her husband Robert, has a five-year-old.
She is now running an average of 30 miles a week and is up at 7 a.m. on weekends to train with her team.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training (TNT) is the world's largest endurance sports training program. In exchange for the training, support and travel opportunities, individuals raise money toward a cure for leukemia, one of the leading disease killers of children; lymphoma, the leading disease killer of men and women under 35; and other blood-related cancers. This year more than 30,000 runners, walkers, cyclists and triathletes will participate in the world's major marathons and events on behalf of the society.
If you would like to help Renew in her fundraising effort, send checks made payable to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to 2451 Riverlook Drive, Augusta, GA 30904.
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