Class Act: Donut Dash

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By WSIL Manager

HERRIN -- There are about 30,000 Americans living with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. That includes a now retired custodian at Herrin High School. His recent diagnosis has caused students and staff to find a way to help.

Don Morgan worked at Herrin High School for more than seven years. When he visited the school the other day, students greeted him with plenty of hugs and handshakes.

"He's an inspiration to all of us. He has a fighting spirit, a generous heart," said math teacher Michelle Loyd.

Students and staff decided to organize a 5K fundraiser called the Donut Dash, a tribute to Morgan's childhood nickname Donut.

"He's the person I call on a Saturday when my bathroom has no electricity. He comes over, he fixes it. He's always happy, always telling a joke. So we wanted to do something to help him and support him," said teacher Jen Taitt.

Despite the diagnosis, Morgan keeps a positive attitude.

"Heart is strong. It's all in the back of my mind. I don't think about it. I'm planning on being around for years," said Morgan.

Students designed the logo and posters for the fundraiser, which will help with Morgan's medical bills.

"We're striving to have 100 percent success rate from various organizations in the school, because Donut gave us 100 percent everyday, so it's the least we can do for him," explained high school senior Laura Guebert.

"They totally surprised me that they were doing this for me. I love them all for it. I constantly feel the prayers daily coming from them. It really helps me keep up my energy," said Morgan.

"When something like this happens you feel like the rug has been pulled out from under you. You turn to God. Then when something like this happens, you don't know the strength it give us. And it makes us feel so good to know he's so loved, and he loves them all just as much," Cindy Morgan.

Students and staff call Donut the Class Act, while he's quick to give credit to his Herin High School family.

The Donut Dash is Sunday, October 20 at Herrin High School. Registration starts at 12:30 p.m. with the run scheduled for 1:30 p.m.
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