FALCONER - Students at Harvey C. Fenner Elementary spent a portion of their school day participating in the school's most athletic fundraiser of the year.
On Wednesday, Fenner celebrated its 26th consecutive year of involvement with the American Heart Association's annual Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser.
Nearly 300 students traversed the gymnasium doors over the course of the day to take part in a variety of jump-related activities. The event was coordinated by Darin Kennedy, Fenner's physical education teacher, who said that Jump Rope for Heart is a unique fundraiser.
Students at Fenner Elementary School participate in a number of jump-related activities during the school’s 26th annual Jump Rope For Heart fundraiser Wednesday.
P-J photo by Gavin Paterniti
"It's the one community fundraiser that we choose to do here at Harvey C. Fenner through the physical education program," said Kennedy, who has been with the Falconer Central School district for 18 years. "Mary Jane Pond previously started Jump Rope for Heart here at Fenner, and when I started teaching here, I jumped on board with it at Temple Elementary School. When she retired, I moved from Temple to teach (at Fenner), and I just continued it here."
Kennedy said the average amount raised has slightly decreased in previous years, in accordance with the district's enrollment numbers, but anticipated this year's total to exceed last year's total of $3,347.20. He said students have been using an online component to gather donations, which has helped to boost this year's amount significantly.
"We starting using it last year, but it really took off this year," he said, noting that 18 students participated in online campaigning versus only two students who did it the year before.
"We actually ended up raising about $1,200 online," Kennedy said. "The rest was just cash, as usual. The money comes in, we convert the cash to our PTO, the PTO deposits it and then it writes one check to the American Heart Association - so we channel the cash that way."
Kennedy said the three groups of students to participate in the morning portion of the event raised totals of $1,826.50, $1,860 and $874, respectively - the sum of which exceeds last year's amount by more than $1,200. The amount raised by the final group of students was not available by press time.
Jump Rope for Heart is a national program jointly sponsored by the American Heart Association and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education and Dance. Its goal is to contribute to the fight against heart disease and stroke - the nation's No. 1 and No. 3 killers, respectively.