For the past several years, Lacamas Heights Elementary students have raised money for the American Heart Association. This year, 115 students participated in AHA’s Hoops for Hearts program.
It was coordinated by Jeanie Moran, Lacamas Heights physical education teacher. In all, the students raised $10,925 for the AHA, which is $4,745 more than last year.
“Hoops for Heart is a great event because it allows us to teach the kids about community service, as well as educate them about the heart, heart disease, and the role that exercise plays in heart health,” said Moran.
She has also discovered that the event supports and builds connections in the community.
“The kids learn about family and friends with heart issues, and they hear personal stories,” Moran noted. “This often leads to donations, which was the case with Piller Plastics in Washougal. At one point during the fundraising, Piller matched the raised funds, donating $2,688.”
Top student fundraiser, Davlin Coburn, a first-grader, raised $1,205. Also notable were kindergartner Addysen Case, who raised $410, and third-grader Brian Hoff, who raised $270.
“It’s an event that brings the kids and adults together as a community,” said Moran. “Of course, many of the kids would say the best part is the extra time on ‘the Jungle.’”
The Jungle, which is used by Lacamas Heights, Prune Hill and Helen Baller elementary schools, is an elaborate obstacle course that is set up in the gym for one week each year, always at the time of the Lacamas fundraiser, as an extra incentive for the students to get involved.
Although all the money raised during the Hoops for Heart fundraiser goes to the American Heart Association, Lacamas Heights will be rewarded by AHA with $550 in gift certificates to spend on physical education equipment.