Pre-schoolers roll out for charity in annual Trike-A-Thon in Widmeyer Park

Good Shepherd Preschool held their 21st annual Trike-A-Thon in Widmeyer Park on Thursday, May 9, to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. As of last Thursday, the preschool had raised $3,251.

by Geoff Fox

It was a little wet when the kids from Good Shepherd Preschool arrived at Widmeyer Park on Thursday morning, May 9, for their annual Trike-A-Thon, but the rain stopped long enough for the kids to ride their trikes and raise some money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Good Shepherd Director January Weber said the school was excited to be able to continue the service project of children helping children.

This year marks the 21st year Good Shepherd has held the Trike-A-Thon and over those 21 years, they have raised $63,471 in donations to the hospital.

Weber said as of last Thursday, the total for 2024 was $3,251.

The children started their day with an opening prayer followed by bicycle riding courses, bounce houses, music and a cookout.

Weber said the children spent the previous week learning proper cycle safety and how children can help other children, like those hospitalized at St. Jude, to prepare for the event.

Last month, the preschool children worked hard getting sponsors and donations.

Good Shepherd Board President Debbie Murphy handed out prizes to the top donation collectors, Weber said.

Brantley Morton and Payslee Youngblood received new bikes for collecting the highest donations. Elizabeth Smith, Elsie Weber, Julia Waugh, Lincoln Shives, Oliver Potts, and Copeland Beahm received new backpack sets for their collection efforts.

Weber said every child walked away with a goody bag full of prizes for participating thanks to generous sponsors.

“Kathy McCarty continues to play a vital role in the success of this event in her work to secure those donations for sponsors which make it possible to award the children so generously for their collection efforts,” Weber said.

She added that through the generosity of community business sponsors, civic organizations and individuals, Good Shepherd was able to provide every child a prize bag full of awards and surpass their preschool collection goal.

Sponsors of the event included Rotary of Hancock, Dr. Dan and Debbie Murphy, Interfaith Service Coalition, Greg and Katie Weber, Hancock Lions/Lioness Club, Town of Hancock, United Methodist Men, Close Insurance, Donna Wallizer, Reeds Pharmacy, State Farm – Sean Stroosnyder, Valley Electric, Dr. Ralph and Tracy Salvagno, Linda McCarty, Carolyn Clingerman, and Students from the Southern Fulton Interact Club that assisted in making the day a success.

The goal in holding the Trike-A-Thon is to help with the overwhelming expenses that come with treating children with catastrophic diseases and with the research in developing a cure for this remarkable hospital that needs $1 million a day to operate.

“The preschoolers will also learn valuable life lessons in giving and empathy while sharing their bicycles,” Weber said.

St. Jude is a world leader in the fight against disease and their progress will continue in part because the children from Good Shepherd Preschool.

“We’re proud to be a small part!” Weber added.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other diseases.

The late entertainer Danny Thomas founded the Memphis, Tennessee, based hospital and opened the doors in 1962.

The hospital freely shares its discoveries with the scientific and medical communities around the world. No family ever pays for treatment not covered by insurance and families without insurance are never asked to pay.

St. Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its fundraising organization. More information is at

For 21 years, Good Shepherd Preschool has been raising funds to donate to St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. In that time, the kids have raised over $63,000 to send to St. Jude.