Preparing for the run

By WEEK Producer

July 16, 2012 Updated Jul 16, 2012 at 6:37 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Unload and load. It's an all too familiar sight the past couple of days at Green Chevrolet in Peoria.

"We're unloading and putting all the utensils we need to prepare the foods," said Irene Zuercher, a volunteer chef for St. Jude. "We also have a lot of food stuff to get ready on the motor homes, so fresh salads and fresh vegetables. Then we have some crackers and cheese in a can, peanut butter, crackers, celery."

Come Tuesday morning, nearly two dozen motor homes will be armed and ready to make the trip south to Memphis, and despite the scorching heat across central Illinois, it's not stopping thousands of runners for this worthy cause.

"The first year it was $22,500 and back then, it was a lot of money," said Mike McCoy, St. Jude Run Founder. "Now we've seen it blossom into 33 different runs, $2.8 million a year, $27 million raised, but most important, we've seen the cure rate for kids with cancer raised from 4 percent to over an average of 80 percent and in some cases, 94 to 95 percent."

Zuercher says it's a wonderful way to give back to the community.

"As a preschool teacher, I work with children everyday and when there's a sick child, you're heart goes out to that child and the family," she said. "We're supporting St. Jude, which does wonderful work."

Wonderful work that's turned hundreds of thousands of children's lives around year after year.

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