Spring Without Baseball Leads 9-Year-Old to Run for St. Jude Pledges

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EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Everett Zimmerman tells it like it is.

“I’m not a big running fan but it’ll help me with my baseball, basketball and soccer,” the nine-year-old said.

His baseball is on hold but he’s running a lot this spring. And not just to stay in shape.

He’s part of a fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. His Facebook post says it all.

“We are fundraising for St. Jude, our goal is $2,000,” Zimmerman said of his Woodrow Wilson School fundraiser. “And for every five dollars you give us, I will run a lap in my yard. And it’s huge.”

His yard is big, about a quarter mile around his property line. But his heart may be bigger.

When the coronavirus outbreak ended in-person schooling, it could have ended the St. Jude spring fundraisers at his school. Instead, it inspired the soon-to-be third grader to get pledges and run.

And he’s been running for a couple of weeks.

He runs with his brother, with his dog and sometimes alone. Sometimes he does three laps around his property but usually he runs four, six or eight laps.

“I dont like to end on an odd number,” he said with a smile.

He and his mom hatched the idea based on the “Laps for Life” fundraiser the school typically hosts.

“It’s really given him something to do and not think about (the sports) he’s missing,” said his mom Sethany. “We say, ‘You’re missing this but think about the kids you’re doing this for.”

As of June 8, Zimmerman had raised $440 towards the school’s goal.

“All that money will pay for the (patient’s) bills, the research, medicine,” ZImmerman said.

Even though school is out, faculty members are keeping tabs of his efforts online.

“Some of my school teachers and staff members at school even said, ‘Way to go Everett,” Zimerman said of the comments posted under his daily video updates.

Yes, way to go Everett.

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