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APW Student Honored For Raising Funds To Help Save Lives

David Holst and PE teacher Dan Bryant.

David Holst and PE teacher Dan Bryant.

SYRACUSE — The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is proud to honor an Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Elementary School second grader for a record-breaking effort for Jump Rope For Heart.

David Holst raised more than $5,000 to help fight heart disease and stroke this year.

David Holst and PE teacher Dan Bryant.
David Holst and PE teacher Dan Bryant.

David was the top fundraiser in his school and the top Jump Rope For Heart fundraiser ever in Central New York.

He set the Central New York record last year by raising $3,000.

As part of his reward from the school, David got the chance to throw a pie in PE teacher Dan Bryant’s face last week.

David and his family understand why Jump Rope For Heart is so important.

David is a heart disease survivor himself. He was born with a congenital heart defect and had surgery at six days old to repair the problem.

David’s mother Natalie Holst said he still sees a cardiologist every six months and will eventually need another surgery since he will grow out of the repair.

Natalie said a lot of people know about David’s story, but she was still surprised at the outpouring of donations David received.

David was eligible for thank you gifts through the Jump Rope For Heart program because of the amount of money he raised, but decided to donate those gifts to kids in the hospital.

David Holst and his grandmother, Rosemarie Russell
David Holst and his grandmother, Rosemarie Russell

“I wanted to raise money because I had heart surgery,” he said. “And, I wanted to give them toys because you don’t get toys in the hospital.”

Jump Rope For Heart events raise money for the American Heart Association, which funds lifesaving heart and stroke research and community and educational programs for our youth.

Students also learned about the importance of staying physically active.

Schools can benefit by earning free PE equipment through the Jump Rope For Heart program.

Jump Rope For Heart teaches students how physical fitness benefits the heart and shows them that volunteering can be a fun and positive experience for the whole community.

The need to educate children about the importance of physical activity couldn’t be timelier. According to recent studies, about one-third of children ages 2 to 19 are overweight and obese.

“By including physical activity into their daily routines, kids can significantly reduce the onset and burden of heart disease,” said Meg Gibbons, Youth Market Director. “By raising money through Jump Rope For Heart, we are preventing heart disease and obesity for the next generation of Americans. Kids are literally jumping into a heart healthier life while becoming passionate about raising money for other kids with sick hearts.”

For 38 years, Jump Rope For Heart has raised more than $818 million for the fight against heart disease and stroke. Millions of students have jumped rope and learned about heart health and how nutrition and physical activity can help prevent heart disease and stroke.

Jump Rope For Heart is co-sponsored by the American Heart Association and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

Please help our students help others by making a donation. If you would like to help more, call your nearest American Heart Association office at (315) 728-7540 or call 1-800-AHA-USA1 (1-800-242-8721). You can also visit us online at www.heart.org/jump.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association receives funding mostly from individuals. Foundations and corporations donate as well, and fund specific programs and events. Strict policies are enforced to prevent these relationships from influencing the Association’s science content. Financial information for the American Heart Association, including a list of contributions from pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers, is available at http://www.heart.org/corporatefunding.