Running group raises more than $185,000 to help cancer patients at St. Jude

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - A group of Cenla residents raised more than $100,000 to help children fight cancer.

The Cenla Heroes helping children fight cancer | Credit: KALB

Eighty members of a group called the Cenla heroes will head to Memphis, Saturday (Dec. 7) to compete in St. Jude's 5K, 10K, half marathon, and full marathon races.

Last year, the group competed in the races and donated $70,000. This year, the Cenla Heroes raised their goal to surpass $100,000, and they did so by a wide margin.

"We started out at $100,000, and Central Louisiana has been fantastic," Ronnie Schwartz, the coach of the Cenla Heroes. "We went from 100 to 125 to 150, and as of tonight, we've raised over $185,000."

Agnes Ashby, a member of the Cenla Heroes explained why the group felt so compelled to meet their goal.

"We saw that St. Jude does for their patients," Ashby explained. "It grabbed us and almost made us addicted... because you see and hear patients' stories [like] Emma, Sarah's daughter."

Sarah McCoy is a member of the Cenla heroes, and she remembers watching the group compete in the race while doctors operated on her daughter (Emma) at St. Jude.

"Seven years ago, we were there and my daughter had surgery," McCoy explained. "We looked out the window and said, 'What are all those people doing down there?' They told us it was for the marathon, and I said, 'One day, I am going to run that.'"

McCoy will run the race for the first time Saturday, along with the 80 other members from the group participating in the Memphis race.

The Cenla Heroes had their send-off party on Tuesday at a restaurant called Spirits. The restaurant donated a percentage of their Tuesday sales to the group as well.

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