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EDWARDSVILLE - The turnout for the initial Painting The Town Gold kickoff was what several called “amazing” on Saturday, setting the right tone for the Pediatric Cancer fund-raiser at Edwardsville City Park in front of the Edwardsville Public Library.
Edwardsville High School student Todd Schulz, who has been battling cancer for a few years, is the creator of all the Painting The Town Gold activities, with a goal of raising $100,000 for pediatric cancer. September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month.
The kickoff was a haven for children with a variety of entertainment activities. Those included free jump houses, a magician, balloon animal artist, Frozen characters and sing along, Super Hero characters and presentations by Grogan’s Martial Arts in Edwardsville. There were food and refreshments available from barbecued treats, funnel cake, fried sweets, Peel craft beers, soda, water, snow cones and baked goods.
Schultz had the biggest smile of any on his face with the outpouring of support for the kickoff. There were young children, parents, school friends, teachers and people throughout the community and beyond who participated during the day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For a few moments before Saturday, Schultz said privately he was a little worried no one would show up on Saturday.
“Obviously it is a different story,” said Schultz on Saturday. “It makes me really proud. I can’t thank those who came out today enough for what they are doing. Our overall mission is to raise awareness about Pediatric cancer and to raise $100,000 with our different programs. This is definitely a good start.”
Those attending the event were able to purchase PTG apparel and accessories and Jason Motte Foundation K Cancer shirts. Motte is a former St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher, now with the Chicago Cubs, who has done a considerable amount nationwide to support cancer fund-raising and research. He is completely in support of the Painting The Town Gold September campaign.
Edwardsville Police officer Doug Renth was one of the officers who donated their time to be present representing his department for the affair.
He said what is happening here shows what kids are capable of doing in regard to specific community causes. He added that this is just another example of how the Edwardsville Police Department works to be proactive in the community, helping positive causes and it makes him proud to be a member of the law enforcement team.
Anne’s Frozen Custard, Rotary Club of Metro East, Edison’s, the Edwardsville Police Department and many more donated their time to take part in the event.
Trent West of the Metro East Community Rotary Club said the club was “excited” to be involved in the kickoff.
“Todd spoke at Rotary Club about this and is a great kid,” West said. “If he is already doing this it says a lot for his future.”
Jason Castillo and Shane Overton of the Peel in O’Fallon and Edwardsville locations were there for the event and said they were glad to see such an amazing turnout.
“It is great to see so many come out,” they said. “We are all about doing things like this in the community.”
Paint The Town Gold Activities
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Edwardsville Community Unit District 7 is providing several activities in support of Painting The Town Gold and Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. Each school in the district will be collecting coins that will be donated for Pediatric Cancer Research.
The following prizes will be awarded to the school that raises the most money through their collections:
K-5 Building: Assembly with Fredbird and a special snack.
6-8 Building: Assembly with Jason Motte (former Cardinals pitcher and current Cubs pitcher).
EHS winning English class: Pizza party with Jason Motte and presentation.
All District K-2 and 3-5 buildings will have a Coin Collection Week the week of Sept. 14.
Lincoln and Liberty Middle Schools will have a Coin Collection Week the week of Sept. 14.
Edwardsville High School will have a Coin Collection Week the week of Sept. 21.
A Dream Big Trivia Night as part of the Painting The Town Gold activities is set for 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11, at the American Legion 58, State Route 157 Edwardsville, starting at 6 p.m. The cost is $200 per team of 10 with trivia, so only $20 for each member of the team.
Dine/Shop Local Business
Throughout September, local restaurants and business will donate a portion of their sales on certain days to Paint the Town Gold. On these days, you can shop and eat at these businesses and know that a portion of your total sale will be donated to the cause.
Get to Know the Cancer Families
The many children battling cancer in the Edwardsville/Glen Carbon community and across the country are the reason for Schultz’s project.
Organizers want everyone to get to personally know the children who will benefit from the money donated to cancer research. Some of the brave cancer warriors in the community who are currently or have completed undergoing treatment will be introduced through the month so others can understand how important it is to them and their families to join in on the fight.
Gold Ribbon 5k race on Sept. 19
Join the first annual Gold Ribbon 5k race on Saturday, Sept. 19, at Edwardsville Township Park. The race begins at 9 a.m. on that Saturday. Entry fee for the race is $30 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go Gold Gala set for Sept. 27
A Go Gold Gala is set for Sunday, Sept. 27, at Wildey Theatre, 252 N. Main St., Edwardsville, with doors opening at 4:30 p.m. Purchase tickets for $50 at the Wildey Ticket Box Office or the Wildey website.
This will be the final event of the month for Painting The Town Gold and will include a night of food, stories and entertainment.