03/15/07 — Students jump to help charity fight heart disease

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Students jump to help charity fight heart disease

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on March 15, 2007 1:59 PM

Students across Wayne County have been jumping up and down to support the American Heart Association, raising more than $81,000 for the cause.

Eight elementary schools have held Jump Rope for Heart events in recent months, with two more to follow. Edgewood Community Developmental School did its own version, Hoops for Heart, and collected $778.

The school system has participated in the program for years, aiding the American Heart Association in its mission to help reduce disability and death from cardiovascular diseases and strokes. Funds raised also go toward research and educational programs.

The effort has also been beneficial to staff and students locally, as awareness of good health habits like exercise has grown.

At Carver Elementary School in Mount Olive, this year's event was dedicated to 10-week-old Noah Willoughby, son of Carver kindergarten teacher Sarah Willoughby. Born in December with a heart disorder, Noah had his first surgery at two days old and is scheduled for another in a month.

In addition to the $10,178 raised by students this year, the staff donated $900 in honor of baby Noah and others battling heart disease.

At Spring Creek Elementary School, fifth-grader Sarah Casey has been a consistent contributor each year. Over the past four years, she has helped raise more than $3,200 for the cause. This year, she collected more than $1,000.

Her physical education teacher, Robin Narron, said, "Sarah literally jumps at the chance to save lives.

"Sarah is an inspiration to students and staff as she continually raises enormous amounts consistently year after year. She is a role model by promoting the value of physical activity, setting and achieving goals and proving that young people can make a difference."

Top fundraising school this year was Northwest Elemen-tary, which collected $16,415.

The breakdown for other participating schools includes Spring Creek Elementary with $14,195; Rosewood Elementary with $13,400; Eastern Wayne Elementary with $12,342; Tommy's Road Elementary with $6,134; Meadow Lane Elementsary with $4,653; and Fremont STARS Elementary with $3,600.

Brogden Primary and Carver Heights Elementary plan to hold their Jump Rope for Heart events later this semester.