Brothers' bond sparks school generosity

By Anna Yee

May 10, 2013 Updated May 10, 2013 at 10:38 PM CDT

DUNLAP, Ill. -- At Dunlap Grade School, ties to the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital run deep.

On Friday, the school held a walk-a-thon to raise money (more than $2500) for St. Jude and to honor two retiring teachers, who are both involved with the hospital.

Joe Wenskus, a retiring 5th grade teacher, is a regular at the St. Jude Memphis to Peoria run.

"Oh my gosh," said Wenskus. "If you make one trip to St. Jude, and you see the hospital, and obviously all the kids that it takes care and the wonderful work that they do, it just makes you want to do whatever you can."

"My son was a St. Jude patient for 11 years, and he passed away in 2005," said Judy Kurth, a retiring kindergarten teacher, "so this really means a lot to us."

Third grader Jarret Sahr helped out by organizing a drive that collected 170 toys for kids at St. Jude, kids like his little brother Johnah who's currently undergoing cancer treatment.

"The toys are a huge impact," said Kelly Belinger-Sahr, Jarret & Johnah's mother, "because on tough days, on the really, really bad days when you just don't feel like you have anything left or when it's your birthday and you have to be in the hospital, having something given to you cheers everyone up."

Johnah was able to make a surprise visit at the school and give his brother a congratulatory hug.

In the fall, Johnah plans to join his brother as a Dunlap Grade School student, extending the footprints the school is leaving to help find a cure for children's cancer.