RIO HONDO — The Rio Hondo Middle School student council was on a mission to make a difference in the fight against cancer.

It was their first campaign fundraiser of the year, and they smashed past their goal of $200.

This past week at a school pep rally, the student council cabinet handed over a whopping $800 check to Cathy Weaver, a representative of the American Cancer Society.

“It’s amazing for a small school to make such a huge contribution,” Weaver said. “I wish every school would do this.”

Weaver said the funds will help cancer patients in the Valley who need wigs, transportation and room and board for out-of-town doctor appointments.

“The money will go a long way,” Weaver said.

The students at the rally were a lively bunch and helped the student council raise most of the money by buying the council’s pink ribbons and bracelets.

“Everything sold out, and we kept selling more,” said Karina Zuniga, student council class president. “We passed our mark in three weeks.”

She said each student council member sold more than 15 or 20 items, and people just kept donating more to the cause.

“It was a lot of work and a lot of dedication from the students, teachers and community,” said Cierra Ruiz, student council representative.

Moving into the new school made a big difference.

Principal Ramiro Moreno said the student council switched gears this year.

“They are doing a great job,” Moreno said. “They really started out the year the right way.”

The council’s biggest moves were adding its bylaws, changing its group sponsor and having a goal of doing more community fundraisers.

“I am very proud of how we worked together to raise the money,” said Olga Padilla, Rio Hondo Middle School student council sponsor. “I enjoy the group. They are hard workers and ready to make a difference.”