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DB students ‘Jump Rope for Heart’

With a little time, a lot of energy and a jump rope, Dawson-Bryant Elementary students did their part Wednesday to fight heart disease and stroke.

The students participated in Jump Rope for Heart, an event that supports the American Heart Association.

“Everybody knows someone affected by heart problems,” Leslie Blackwell, physical education teacher, said. “I was amazed at how many students had grandparents and parents with problems.”

The students collected donations and then jumped rope for 40 minutes during gym class.

The classes’ goal was to raise $2,000.

Though the figures have not been tallied yet, Blackwell is confident they will exceed that goal.

“They’ve taken it and ran with it,” she said. “A lot of them realize how important this is.”

For Wyatt Dement, the fundraiser was personal. Wyatt has vater syndrome and underwent open heart surgery when he was 6 months old. The kindergartener raised $55.

As an incentive for fundraising, the school is renting a dunk tank. Wyatt and all the students will have one turn at dunking the teacher of their choice for each $30 he raised.

“The kids absolutely loved it,” Blackwell said.

If the students raise $2,500, they can dunk Principal Angie Dillow.

The school had a similar incentive two years ago, when it also rented a dunk tank.

“All the kids got to watch,” Blackwell said. “It’s awesome that the teachers are willing to do that because it gets kind of chilly.”