HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – St. Jude is bringing families in the Rocket City one step closer to healing and recovery through the annual St. Jude Walk Run.

The event brought hundreds of participants to Hudson Alpha at Research Park Saturday morning with a new goal for fundraising.

Volunteers with St. Jude of Huntsville cheer runners on as they enter the park.

This year’s St. Jude Walk/Run set out to raise $260,000, which would be the most the event has ever raised. The money will support St. Jude patients battling childhood cancer.

“No family ever receives a bill for their treatment, for their travel, housing or their food while they’re patients of St. Jude,” explained Anna Hess, 2023 St. Jude Run/Walk of Huntsville Chair. “There are tons of smaller walk/runs around the nation and all of those funds go to help further that research and funding for research to help take care of those families.”

Families like Jaxon and Laura Guthrie. Jaxon was diagnosed with a stage four Wilms tumor that caused him to lose his left kidney as a child. He and his mother told News 19 they couldn’t have made it without the help of St. Jude.

“They took me by the hand when I was scared and confused and walked me through that hospital,” said Laura. “(They) took us through a very scary situation and gave me hope.”

Booths lined the park with family-friendly activities and messages about how to get involved with the organization. Volunteers played a big role in the day’s events and supporting all participants in the walk.

Jarvis Prewitt was happy to cheer kids and their families on as they completed the walk.

“You know its definitely important to ensure that they have an advocacy, a coalition a team to let them know that somebody’s fighting on their behalf and give them hope to continue their fight”

St. Jude is still collecting donations. If you are interested in donating, you can click here.