02/17/05 — 'Jump Rope for Heart' raises more than 50,000 dollars for Heart Association

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'Jump Rope for Heart' raises more than 50,000 dollars for Heart Association

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on February 17, 2005 2:10 PM

Students at area elementary schools have raised more than $50,000 for the American Heart Association this month by jumping rope.

"Jump Rope for Heart" raises money through sponsors who donate money based on the number of students who participate.

The project is conducted in a different ways at different schools. Most use physical education class time to teach students how to properly jump rope, then schedule a day for the event.

Teams of students are allowed to jump rope alone or with others. The goal is to have at least one member of the team jumping throughout the time period allowed.

Rosewood Elementary School raised the most money this year. All grade levels at the school participated. Physical education teacher Michelle Kornegay said the students raised a total of $12,700.

Spring Creek Elementary School followed closely by raising $12,150. One student, third grader, Sarah Casey, has been the top collector for two years in a row, raising $500 last year and $700 this year.

Physical education teachers Diane Best and Robin Narron said the school has taken part in the event for 10 years. Mrs. Narron said students are aware of the importance of the cause, with several participating as a way to honor a family member or in memory of someone who has died from heart disease.

The cause also provides an opportunity to teach students about preventing heart disease by keeping themselves healthier.

Kess Fullington, a second grader and Kaylar Fullington, a fifth grader, are sisters who raised $253 and $301, respectively. They credit father Doug, a physician, with being a teacher to them just as he is to his patients.

"He tells them about having a healthy diet," said Kaylar. "Some of his advice is, 'eat the rainbow every night.' It's about eating more fruits and vegetables."

Northwest Elementary School held its event earlier this month, raising $11,080.

Lynn Dail, physical education teacher at Carver Elementary School in Mount Olive, said Carver was the first school in the county to do the event 16 years ago. Ms. Dail has coordinated it at the school every year and was recently recognized by the American Heart Association for 15 years of service.

The school had 200 jumpers representing second through fifth grades this year, with $8,011 raised.

Eastern Wayne Elementary School has been one of the top money-raisers for the cause in the state for over a decade. This was their 12th year participating in the event, with an estimated $10,000 collected.

Physical education teacher Terry Butler said the number of jumpers and the amount brought in this year was down a little, perhaps because of other charities students had contributed to such as the tsunami relief.

Fifth grader Caleb Jones has participated in the event at Eastern Wayne every year since he was in second grade. His grandmother, Hope Meyerhoeffer, was a volunteer at the event and said he had been out with the flu with was able to get back to school in time to take part.

Caleb admitted the event provides a chance to get out of class, but said he also enjoys being able to raise money for the Heart Association.