Local kids to raise funds for St. Jude's

The fund-raising event has special meaning for the school this year.
AUSTINTOWN -- A group of preschoolers will be riding their tricycles March 13 and 14 at the Growing Place Pre-School, 2432 Raccoon Road, to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tenn.
The school does the Trike-A-Thon for St. Jude's each year, but this year the event will be remembered as the year the children helped someone from their own neighborhood.
Nick Avery, son of Wendy Avery, former director of the school, was recently diagnosed with leukemia and is undergoing treatment at St. Jude's.
Wendy Avery was invited to visit St. Jude's last summer so the hospital could say "thank you" to the school for its years of support through the Trike-A-Thon.
Avery came back to Boardman more determined to help raise money for the hospital.
Nick, her youngest son and now a high school student, accompanied her on the trip, and, as they were leaving the hospital, told her, "Mom, I don't ever want to have cancer, but if I do, this is where I want to be treated."
He was diagnosed with leukemia six months later.
The children at the Growing Place are taking pledges and will ride their tricycles between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. both days.
Their route will be through a make-believe neighborhood made out of boxes and set up in the gym. The children painted the cardboard buildings and there are a fire station, police station, bank, lemonade stand, theater, park, pizza stand and car wash.
Real neighborhood businesses are being asked to donate to the cause and those that do will have a cardboard building named after their business.
The public can contribute as well by sending checks to the school made out to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

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