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WDAY: The News Leader

Published May 18, 2011, 04:22 PM

South Stars to run for Team Alexa's Hope

For the last several weeks, elementary students at West Fargo's South Elementary School have not only been running and reading to get a healthier mind and body; they have quietly been raising money for a special charity. Today, as part of Fargo Marathon week, they surprised their principal and his family in an emotional morning gathering.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - When you are 10-years old, it is really hard to keep a good news secret. You want to tell everyone. For the last several weeks, elementary students at West Fargo's South Elementary School have not only been running and reading to get a healthier mind and body; they have quietly been raising money for a special charity. Today, as part of Fargo Marathon week, they surprised their principal and his family in an emotional morning gathering.

In Kris Lindemann's 4th grade class today, it was all about the secret. For days, the students have been running their own marathon of sorts, a special running and reading program for the mind and body. Many of them will be taking part in the Youth Run tomorrow night.

But the students at South Elementary have been up to something else. They love their principal Loren Kersting, and they all know his story. How he and his wife Monica run a charity in her memory. She died at 14 waiting for a lung transplant.

“You might want to look at the T-shirts that these kids are wearing. We want to run for a reason.”

Today, south elementary students told Principal Kersting, they are not only running for Team Alexa's Hope…

“South Stars running for Alexa's Hope. Our kids brought everything they wanted to donate to the cause, 600-dollars that our kids put together.”

Fargo Marathon's Director Mark Knutson: “You are doing a great job. This is beautiful. This is impressive. You brought me to tears really, doing a great job. What we would like to do. Fargo Marathon will match another 600-dollar donation to Alexa's Hope.”

Not many dry eyes in this school gym today.

LOREN KERSTING - Alexa's Dad: “I can't. You kids cannot imagine how important it is to see you wearing those t-shirts. It is what Alexa's Hope is all about.”

What lessons out of the classroom today. The students not only got a crash course in fitness, they learned it doesn't take much to touch and help heal a hurting heart. More than 30-charity teams are running in this weekend's marathon.

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