SAUK RAPIDS -- A group of high school students -- and a few staff members -- helped raise an incredible amount of money for a good cause. Last month the Sauk Rapids-Rice student council held their second annual "Survivor Week" at the school, where contestants competed against each other throughout the week.

The winner was freshman William Nielson.

Senior Camden Patterson says by week's end they collected $16,500.

We asked some businesses to donate to start the week, and then we also had our contestants sell t-shirts and do coin challenges throughout the week where they raised money, and we had entrance fees for all the people who came to watch our competitions.

The non-profit that the students selected this year to give their money to was Sauk Rapids-based Tanner's Team Foundation. Tanner's Team Founder and CEO John Fuls says the donation is significant.

It's probably the second largest donation that Tanner's Team has ever received, and the best part about it is it came from students, that's even more incredible.  But what they don't really realize is that $16,000 is going to help 16 different families in central Minnesota.

Tanner's Team Foundation awards grants of up to $1,000 to families who have a child diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.

Photo by WJON.com's Jim Maurice

The students presented their check to Tanner's Team Foundation during Monday night's school board meeting.

Last year the Sauk Rapids-Rice Survivor week raised over $13,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, bringing their two-year total to nearly $30,000. Patterson says they are already planning for their 3rd annual event next spring.