Lawton, OKLa._A few lucky schools in Southwest Oklahoma received a cash prize on Friday, for all of their hard work raising awareness about cancer. The five-hundred dollar reward donated by 7NEWS was for having the largest number of participants in last month's Spirit of Survival kid's marathon, which supports local cancer research. Each student had to be 12 or under and log a total of 25 miles of running prior to the one-point-two mile marathon.
As the Edison Elementary students gathered together to receive a five-hundred dollar cash prize for all of their hard work, both students and teachers felt a sense of accomplishment.
"It feels good to be rewarded because I put in a lot of hard work", said Edison Elementary student Abigayle Ponder.
"In some sort of way it affects everyone. They need to know that they can help by joining Spirit of Survival and raising money and logging those miles to show they support cancer patients and cancer survivors", said Lawton teacher Hailey Meason.
Students and teachers at Crosby Park were excited about their achievement too. Especially Jordan Mendoza, whose aunt is a breast cancer survivor.
"It feels great, it feels like I am making a difference for her", said Mendoza.
"The joy that they had and that they were actually exercising and moving and coming outside and enjoying the weather, not just staying in playing video games. So, its great to see them coming together as a school building that community, I think that's a neat thing", said Crosby Park Teacher Jody Powell.
Altus Christian Academy students said they look forward to this event every year. Principal Dana Darby said its become a treasured tradition.
"It truly has become a part of the culture of the school, the kids look forward to it, we have a lot of people that help with it. Of course our P.E. teacher is the one that organizes everything but we have parent volunteers that help as well", said Darby.
Even though teachers and students who participated said the marathon was about cancer awareness and not themselves, the Cancer Centers of Southwest Oklahoma's Lane Hooton said they too deserve some recognition.
"Its such a wonderful thing they do, its so rare that you get to do something good for yourself, something good for your school and something good for other people", said Hooton.
Each school said they have different plans for the money, such as physical education equipment and upgrades to their buildings. Other participating schools in each small, medium and large population category also received second and third place prizes; the second place winners received $300 and the third place received $200.