Kids Muddy madness raises thousands for St. Jude

By Alyssa Donovan

July 13, 2013 Updated Jul 13, 2013 at 10:58 PM CDT

MORTON, Ill.--A race for kids to get down and dirty raised 35,720 dollars for research at St. Jude.

The Kids Muddy Madness for St. Jude brought nearly 900 kids and their families to Westwood park in Morton on Saturday.

This is the 2nd year of the race and event co-chair Christy Howell says this year participation has doubled.

Howell said, "Kids are raising money for kids but the whole point is lets never underestimate the power of a child to fund raise."

Kids ages 4 to 17 took on the obstacle course, falling through bubbles, climbing up walls and ending in a muddy pit.

St. Jude families came to cheer on the supporters handing out medals as kids crossed the finish line.

St. Jude mom Darla LaDage said, "It's amazing to me to see so many people that don't have a direct link to St. Jude supporting things like this."

LaDage's son Carson has been a St. Jude patient for the past 2 years after being diagnosed with a brain stem tumor.

LaDage said, “This means everything to us because our sons brain tumor is still there, it might be dead but we don't have any way of knowing that. So the most important thing to us is research and this is the kind of event that funds research."

St. Jude mom Darcy Riddle said, "I just think it's incredible to see all these people here it's overwhelming."

Riddle's 7 year old daughter Laney is a St. Jude patient.

Riddle said, "I understand why people want to do it because we've seen what St. Jude has done, not just for my daughter but so many other kids too."

Even some of the youngest participants, like 7 year old Hannah Epkins, knew the importance of the race.

Epkins said, "We helped St. Jude. I liked where we went through the bubbles and went up and down the hills and the mud."

Howell said, "They're so excited they are so happy to help. We are so proud of the kids for what they are doing for the other kids of St. Jude."