A year of baking cookies, athletic competition and wearing pajamas to school may sound like fun. But for students, parents and teachers in the Putnam City Schools, these events are all part of a proud fundraising tradition.
At the Putnam City Schools Board Meeting Tuesday night, the district presented OMRF a check for $91,519.89 to go toward cancer research. The funds were generated through a wide range of efforts that included bake sales, a pajama day and the Putnam City Schools Cancer Classic 5-kilometer run.
“We worked hard to raise this money for OMRF,” said Wiley Post Elementary principal and Putnam City Cancer Fund Drive committee chair Stephanie Treadway. “We have all been touched by cancer in one way or another, and we hope that this donation will move us one step closer to finding a cure.”
Since it began in 1975, the Putnam City Schools’ district-wide cancer drive has raised a total of more than $2.9 million for cancer research at OMRF. The district’s past donations have paid for laboratory equipment, medical supplies and personnel to study the causes and complications associated with cancer. This year’s funds are being used to endow the Putnam City Schools Distinguished Chair in Cancer Research, which is held by Linda Thompson, Ph.D.
Thompson is a researcher in OMRF’s Immunobiology and Cancer Research Program. She studies the functioning of the human immune system, and research in her lab helped create a test to assess a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.
“By creating an endowment for cancer research, the students at Putnam City have made a donation that will keep giving forever,” said Thompson. “We’re extremely grateful for their generosity, and we’re fortunate to have them as our partners in fighting a deadly disease.”