Holy Family School students, faculty members celebrate raising more than $5,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Holy Family School students shared laughs with their principal, Sister Betty Uchytil, as they grabbed strips of colorful tape and stuck her to the gymnasium wall Monday, March 4 and celebrated raising more than $5,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital to kick cancer.

“What about my legs? Do you think they're tight enough?” Uchytil joked. “Thanks a lot, Tristan.”

Holy Family School students traditionally play a volleyball game each year with teachers, seventh graders and eighth graders. The entire school took to the court, playing with a huge pink ball in honor of the fight against breast cancer. They also got a chance to tape their principal to the gymnasium wall, as she laughed and watched the games during the school-wide celebration.

“I swear, I've never done anything like this in my career,” she said.

Uchytil said the fundraising began during Catholic Schools Week in January. The “kick cancer” theme was inspired by a staff member's battle with the disease. She said all families are affected by cancer in one way or another. Students cheered as the pink volleyball flew through the air, while others lined up for their chance to tape their principal to the wall.

Students also got to tape up Father Mike Quinn in January.

Eighth grade homeroom teacher Melissa Millan said word-of-mouth donations throughout the school and the church parish helped reach the goal. Fifth grade teacher Cherrie Allen said the students picked their yearly service project to help St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and she echoed the sense of teamwork evident throughout the school and the church.

“It was amazing, our students, of course, raised money, but we had lots of parishioners and outside people from the community — so it was really nice to get everybody together,” she said.

Sixth graders Mia Ebers and Julia Newland walked in with a large check representing funds $5,050 raised by students throughout the school. Ebers said the results represented teamwork and a desire to make an impact.

“It took a lot of hard work and dedication, it took us about four weeks to do it,” she said. “We just really want to help St. Jude's.”

trevor.mcdonald@courierpost.com