Tears flowed from the eyes of cancer survivor and Relay for Life chairperson Marque Jacobs as she accepted more than $6,000 in donations from students in Rim Country Middle School teacher Russ Graham's social studies class.
"You children are wonderful," Jacobs said. "It's amazing what children can do."
The students earned the money for the American Cancer Society by collecting donations and doing work projects as part of a sixth-grade class project.
"They amazed me how much money they collected," Graham said. "We had one check for $1,000 and another for $1,500."
The students' goal was to earn $6,000, but the students surpassed that early this week.
In addition to collecting donations and doing work projects, the students will sell quesadillas from 6 to 9 p.m. June 2 during the Relay for Life.
"The funds will be donated to the American Cancer Society," Graham said.
The students have also formed a team, Ancient Walkers, to participate in the relay, sponsored by the American Cancer Society. The walk/fund-raiser takes place on the Payson High School track beginning at 6 p.m. June 2, and concluding the following morning at 6 a.m.
There will be walkers and runners from several teams, including the Ancient Walkers, on the track throughout the night.
At the event, luminarias can be purchased to honor a friend or relative who has suffered from cancer.
On the national scene, Relay for Life is a community gathering where everyone can participate in the fight against cancer. In over 4,200 communities around the country, teams of volunteers will camp out at local high schools, parks or fairgrounds to take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to raise funds and to have a representative on the track at all times during the overnight event, because cancer never sleeps.
When the sun goes down, hundreds of luminarias will light the way under the stars to remember those lost to cancer, those fighting cancer and those who have fought cancer and won. The luminarias that light up the night symbolize the hope of continuing the fight against cancer.