Montevallo students campaign for St. Jude

Published 3:39 pm Monday, November 19, 2012

From left, Montevallo Middle School students Abby Smith, Georgia Hughes, Emily Kornegay and Kaelyn Martin show a picture of Hayli, a little patient at St. Jude they wish to sponsor. (Contributed)

By CATHERINE LEGG / Community Columnist

The students in Evelyn Moore’s 7th grade Language Arts class at Montevallo Middle School were so touched by a story of two young cancer survivors that they initiated a drive to raise funds for St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis.

Moore explained that her class had completed a study on the inspiring book, “After Ever After” by Jordan Sonnenblick; the story of Jeff and Tad, their relationship, and their coping with the after-effects of cancer and the cancer treatments. The story is told in an honest and humorous fashion making the subject more palatable; yet masking none of the stress and heartache affecting the two survivors.

Abby Smith, Kaelyn Martin, Georgia Hughes and Emily Kornegay have campaigned especially to sponsor Hayli, a little patient at St. Jude, who suffers from Leukemia. As of this writing they had raised almost $450 toward their goal of $1,000, and they were still in the middle of their campaign. They made signs, solicited contributions from other students, and ask businesses for donations. They’ll be in front of Lucky’s on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 5-7 p.m., and they are making plans for a pajama day at school. Each of the girls expressed their enthusiasm for the project: “I think it is a very good idea to help Hayli,” said Abby. Emily volunteered, “It gets me motivated and makes me feel good.” Kaelyn said, “I would like to go see Hayli and give her all of our donations and see the look on her face.” And Georgia added, “I want to give Hayli a gift because she is very young, and we want to support her.”

“I am amazed at the level of maturity of these young ladies,” said MMS Principal Shelia Lewis, “It is so refreshing to see young people with so much compassion for others. They delved into this project full force. I am so proud to have them as students here at MMS.”

To contribute to the campaign, make checks payable to St. Jude Children’s Hospital and mail to MMS, 235 Samford St., Montevallo. For more information about the campaign, call 205-682-6410 or by email, write to


Catherine Legg can be reached by email at