'Cenla Runners' raise nearly $50k for St. Jude Children's Hospital
After 19 weeks of training and countless miles down, the 'Cenla Runners' are ready for a special marathon.
"This race is not a race that you are going out there to get your best time," said Cenla Runners team captain Ronnie Schwartz.
The team gathered for a final practice Tuesday before taking on the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend.
"If you know what St. Jude is all about," Schwartz said. "The fact that these families never pay a penny to go there and these kids go there and really get good treatment, at no cost to them."
The team isn't showing up to the starting line empty handed. So far, they have raised $47,638 for St. Jude patients. But, Schwartz far surpassed his $5,000 goal.
"Right now I am sitting at about $11,300 which is unbelievable for me," Schwartz said. "There is no prizes in it for me. It is just the idea that we really did that here in Central Louisiana."
Those dollars will also help patients here at home.
"Central Louisiana has anywhere between 30 and 40 that are either getting care now or going back for checkups," Schwartz said. "So, that is pretty strong here."
Runners said their fun hobby now has new meaning.
"Everybody leans on each other and we have become friends," said runner Shellie Taylor. "We met a lot of new people that we would have never met if we didn't start doing this."
A few are nervous about the miles ahead.
"I got both knees wrapped," said runner Michael Bankovic. "So, I am just hoping I can get through and finish it without any medical attention."
But, Schwartz knows from experience, the end result is worth running for.
"Just seeing the kids there is very emotional," Schwartz said. "But, you know you are raising money for them and the families of St. Jude."
If you are interested in donating to the team's St. Jude page, visit the attached link.
St. Jude Fundraising Page: fundraising.stjude.org/site/TR/Heroes/Heroes