Concord UMC preschoolers ride for St. Jude

Children in Concord United Methodist Church preschool program took to their trikes, bikes and scooters to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital during the program’s annual St. Jude Trike-A-Thon.

Eighty-five preschoolers participated and raised $2,450 during this year’s fundraiser, which took place in the parking lot of the church at 11020 Roane Drive, Farragut, on March 15, Catherine Carter, a parent event coordinator with Christy White, said.

“We’re just excited, in three hours of riding bikes, we raised almost $2,500,” Pat Rapkowicz, one of the preschool directors with Pat Kegley, said.

“That’s pretty good, isn’t it?” Carter said.

Jack Ferrie, 4, said he rode his bike “for Jesus” while other children said they rode to get money to help sick kids at St. Jude.

“Because it’s Trike Day,” Stella Colgrove, 4, said.

Luke Steger, 4, said he rode his bicycle “to help Noah if he gets sick.” Noah is Luke’s 1-year-old brother.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis treats children with cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

The Trike-A-Thon is a free educational program to teach preschool and daycare children safely how to ride bikes, trikes and scooters and the importance of helping others as they benefit the hospital. To participate, children asked family and friends to sponsor them and then they rode their bikes, trikes or scooters.

The preschool has been holding the Trike-A-Thon each year since 1998, Rapkowicz said.

In those years, CUMC preschool has raised close to $35,000, Carter said.

“We just have a lot of people who are involved with St. Jude’s in general, Rapkowicz said. “Our business is kids. We strongly encourage our families and staff members to find various charities to support, and St. Jude has always been one of our biggest causes. “Anytime we see children who are sick, it hits close to our heart, and we try to help them.