By Dominic Garcia

LONE TREE, Colo. (CBS4)– Thomas Jefferson High School students stood shocked as staff at Park Meadows Mall presented them with bucket after bucket of coins.

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In the end, 18 buckets worth of change was fished out of the mall’s fountain and given to the students to support them in their fundraiser.

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“That’s a lot of money, you know. Seeing all these coins and stuff, it just helps us believe that you can do anything you know. Being able to see that everyone’s been paying attention to what we’re doing and all that, it’s just amazing,” said Keshaun Taylor, a student at TJ.

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Park Meadows is one of many who donated. This fundraiser started when several schools were approached by St. Jude Hospital to enter the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer challenge. If they raised $20,000 the school would get a new gym floor.

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“The kids were all over it. At first they didn’t even know they were going to get a gym floor out of it. Last year we had raised $500 for St. Jude, so when they were charged with $20,000 they immediately went to their homecoming fund,” said Erin Thompson, a counselor at the school.

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The students decided to donate the money from every homecoming ticket sold. That, coupled with fundraising, and a big donation from Park Meadows pushed the students over their goal.

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Keyshaun Says a new gym floor is cool, but it was never about that, “It’s more about helping with St Jude, and just giving back to our community. Making sure we do our part in helping, and not being selfish.”

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LINK: St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer

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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