EDMOND — Edmond North High School students raised the bar again this year for the school's annual BALTO (Bring A Light To Others) weeklong charity fundraiser.
This year, students set a goal of $225,000 to raise for the March of Dimes Family Support Program for parents of premature infants.
Students picked that amount because they like a “challenging number,” said student council sponsor Brian Hunter.
The students exceeded their goal with a total of $296,720.
The amount is the most ever raised during BALTO.
“We have a steady tradition of raising more each year than the last and this year was no exception,” Hunter said.
“BALTO is more than just a week here at Edmond North High School; it's a tradition and a way of life. Most of all I would like to thank the students,” Hunter said during Friday's assembly to announce the total amount raised.
This year's three co-chairmen interviewed representatives of 10 charities before settling on the March of Dimes program, said co-chairman Allyson Cain, a senior.
The March of Dimes Foundation offers a variety of services to parents of infants that need intensive medical services, Cain said. It educates parents about their children's needs and gives them a variety of support while their babies are in the neonatal intensive care unit.
Belinda Rogers, state director of programs and government affairs for March of Dimes in Oklahoma, said the money raised by the students will allow the organization to serve more families with premature babies who require advanced help.
So far, the only such March of Dimes program in Oklahoma is at Mercy Oklahoma City, but the organization hopes to take it to other hospitals, Rogers said.