By Dominic Garcia

DENVER (CBS4) – It’s hard to spot in the middle of a pep rally, but up close, the gym floor at Thomas Jefferson High School is starting to show its age.

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(credit: CBS)

“Uh yeah definitely. We like get it waxed over the summer and like a week in it’s like done,” said Izabella Williams, a student at TJ.

So maybe it was fate when they and several other schools entered a challenge, The St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer.

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(credit: CBS)

If they raise $20,000 for St. Jude Children’s Hospital, they’ll win a new gym floor.

“I was thinking about it, I was like $20,000, that’s a lot of money,” said TJ student Drea Thompson.

Students have held fundraisers and sold TJ gear, but they knew they needed to do something big. That’s when the student leadership class had an idea.

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CBS4’s Dominic Garcia interviews a group of Thomas Jefferson High School students. (credit: CBS)

“We get a lot of money from homecoming, so maybe that could do it,” TJ student Keshaun Taylor told CBS4’s Dominic Garcia.

Homecoming tickets generate thousands of dollars, money they use for other dances and events. Students say the more they learned about St. Jude., they more compelled they felt donate all their homecoming money, even if they don’t hit the $20,000 mark.

“What I didn’t know is all their money is from donations in order to help the children. So it’s really cool to see that, and it’s cool for all of us to be a part of that,” said Elle Maggio.

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(credit: CBS)

All the other schools who originally entered the competition have dropped out. Once the money from homecoming is added up they think they’ll have raised around $14,000 and have until Oct. 21 to raise the rest.

Students say the money will be donated even if they don’t meet their goal.

“If we don’t get the gym floor it’s like not that big of a deal. The gym floor’s good, but we’re still raising money for charity,” said TJ Student Oliver Jalowski.

LINK: Thomas Jefferson High School’s Fundraising Site

Dominic Garcia anchors CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and reports for CBS4 News at 10 p.m. Connect with the Denver native on Twitter @cbs4dom & on Facebook.

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