SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– One hundred seniors at Marshfield High School have spent the majority of the school year working on capstone projects. 

Raising over $13,000 to date, the projects are benefitting the community in big ways. The money raised is donated to the benefits the students chose.

Senior project coordinator Nicki Thompson has three requirements: “Students can choose the focus of their projects. It just has to be a benefit to self, benefit to school or benefit to community.”

After hours and hours of work, Jake Thornton’s planning comes to an end on Saturday night. Thornton is hosting a truck and tractor pull benefiting St. Jude Research Hospital.

Jake’s benefit is one that hits close to home. Jake’s mom, Julie, was a patient at St. Jude. 

“When I was 18 months old I was diagnosed with Leukemia,” explains Julie, “I had about a 10% chance of survival at the time.”

Jake remembers making visits to Memphis and tagging along to follow-up studies with his mom when he was little. Walking the halls of St. Jude gave Jake a first-hand look at the hardships kids go through.

“Being around other kids, it really hits you harder, versus seeing them on TV,” Thornton said.

Now, as a High School senior, Jake gets to take his passion of truck pulls, partnered with his compassion for kids diagnosed with cancer, and turn it into a project to cap off his senior year.

“Be there,” Thornton said. “It’s going to be a blast.”

The truck and tractor pull will be Saturday night, April 16th at the Rogersville City Park. The event starts at 6 p.m. If you plan to participate, registration begins at 4:30 p.m. 

Marshfield High School will also be hosting a senior showcase on Wednesday, April 27th from 5-8 p.m. Each of the seniors will be presenting their year-long project. 

There will be 150 volunteers helping to ensure the evening goes smoothly.