When 11-year-old Stephanie Quezada Maldanado passed away from cancer on April 24, her classmates and teachers at Newport Intermediate School were stunned. She had been receiving treatment for cancer but her death was still much unexpected.
Turning their grief into positive action, the children decided to raise money in Stephanie’s memory, and donate it to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee. In less than two hours, they raised close to $1,500. On the day of the coin drive, the kids were lined up down the hallway to the office, bringing in hands full of change, cash and even checks from their parents. Many of them were wearing red, which was Stephanie’s favorite color.
“The office staff and teachers couldn’t believe it. We had tears in our eyes all morning,” says Principal Majalise Tolan. “The students were ecstatic to see the jug fill and we could hear them cheer throughout the school when we announced the total.”
The following Saturday, the kids rallied to participate in the Loyalty Days Two-Mile Run/Walk, earning a $500 prize for the school having the largest percentage of students based on enrollment.
The gift to St. Jude’s, earmarked for cancer research, totaled $2,018.33.
NIS Principal Majalise Tolan helps students drop coins into a large jug in the school office. In two hours, the jug was filled to the top with $1,483 in coins.
Kerri Tyler, from Coast Hills Running Club , presents a $500 check to NIS students Ever Velazquez-Roman, left, and Jose Ponciano. NIS students participated in the Loyalty Days Run/Walk on May 5 in memory of classmate who had recently died of cancer. NIS won for having the largest percentage (18.63) of its enrolled students in the run.