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Wise kids lead the way in fundraising for heart health

By Keri Willerton | Published Wednesday, February 1, 2012

SHOOTING FOR A CAUSE - Macy Sugg of Alvord Elementary concentrates on making a basket during Hoops for Heart 2011. Submitted photo

Some of the youngest Wise County citizens have contributed $198,585 over the last three years to the American Heart Association.

Wise County has the highest event average in North Texas for the AHA’s Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart events. These events provide an opportunity for school-aged children to raise money that funds children’s heart health research.

Participants gather donations and commit to jumping rope or playing basketball at the event organized by their physical education teacher. Students also spend class time learning about their hearts and how to keep them healthy.

Alvord Elementary School is one of the top 10 fundraisers in Texas for schools that participate in Jump Rope and Hoops for Heart. It’s No. 15 in the nation. Students raised $16,382.98 last year.

“I feel it is so important to promote the value of living a heart-healthy lifestyle,” said Alvord coach Rhonda Enis. “Through participating, we honor those in our community who have been affected by heart disease and stroke.”

“Jump Rope and Hoops for Heart also promotes community service by teaching kids how they can help others.” she said. “The students here at Alvord Elementary have learned jump-rope and hoop skills by participating each year while learning how nutrition and physical activity can help them live longer, healthier lives.”

Rann Elementary in Decatur is a top 10 fundraiser in the state for Jump Rope for Heart. Its students gathered $14,634.03 in donations last year.

“My message to the kids is – we have to take care of the heart we have, and we need to do our part to help others have a healthy heart,” said Rann coach Kasi Elder. “Jump Rope for Heart is a fun and kid-friendly program that teaches jump-rope skills, the importance of physical activity and community service.”

She also pointed out that the money raised by area school children helps fund potentially lifesaving research and the development of educational materials that teach the importance of heart health and staying fit.

Like many organizers of Jump Rope and Hoops for Heart events, Elder has a personal connection to heart disease.

“My father died instantly of a heart attack at 57, and my mother has had heart problems off-and-on since she was 10 years old,” she said. “I never knew either of my grandfathers because they both died very young of heart attacks. I also have had students and parents of students with heart problems.”

Bridgeport Intermediate and Bridgeport Elementary also excelled in fundraising, donating $13,390.90 and $11,518.42.

SCHOOL FUNDRAISERS

Other Wise County schools that participated last year:

Hoops for Heart

  • Chico $6,200

Jump Rope for Heart

  • Young Elementary $5,169.86
  • Boyd Elementary $2,438.32
  • Carson Elementary $2,196
  • Boyd Intermediate $1,687.61

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