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Hannibal student honored for raising funds to help save lives

HANNIBAL – Dozens of students around the Hannibal Central School District are running, jumping, pivoting, dribbling – and scoring – for their hearts this week with Hoops For Heart.

" data-medium-file="https://oswegocountytoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Hannibal-student-honored-Penny_and_Carl-300x322.jpg" data-large-file="https://oswegocountytoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Hannibal-student-honored-Penny_and_Carl-460x493.jpg" class="size-medium wp-image-192003" src="http://oswegocountytoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Hannibal-student-honored-Penny_and_Carl-300x322.jpg" alt="Penny Leonard, left, physical education teacher at Dennis M. Kenney Middle School in Hannibal, joins sixth grader Carl Emmons II at the school’s Hoops for Hearts event on Tuesday, May 3. Carl raises money for the American Heart Association in honor of his twin cousins, who were born with congenital heart defects. " width="300" height="322" srcset="https://oswegocountytoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Hannibal-student-honored-Penny_and_Carl-300x322.jpg 300w, https://oswegocountytoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Hannibal-student-honored-Penny_and_Carl-150x161.jpg 150w, https://oswegocountytoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Hannibal-student-honored-Penny_and_Carl-768x823.jpg 768w, https://oswegocountytoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Hannibal-student-honored-Penny_and_Carl-460x493.jpg 460w" sizes="(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px" />
Penny Leonard, left, physical education teacher at Dennis M. Kenney Middle School in Hannibal, joins sixth grader Carl Emmons II at the school’s Hoops for Hearts event on Tuesday, May 3. Carl raises money for the American Heart Association in honor of his twin cousins, who were born with congenital heart defects.

One student has an extra reason to jump.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is proud to honor Dennis M. Kenney Middle School student Carl Emmons III for his fundraising work.

The sixth grader, who raises money in honor of his two cousins who were both born with congenital heart defects, raised $295 this year.

He is the top fundraiser at the school.

Hoops 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.

“Raising money for kids in need is so important. Now that I’ve seen where it goes, to people like my family (cousin), I realized how much heart disease affects people. It feels good to help,” Carl said.

Students also learned about the importance of staying physically active.

Hoops 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 for the American Heart Association. “By raising money through Hoops 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 more than 35 years, Hoops For Heart has raised more than $818 million for the fight against heart disease and stroke.

Millions of students have played basketball and learned about heart health and how nutrition and physical activity can help prevent heart disease and stroke.

Hoops 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 (607) 341-8535 or call 1-800-AHA-USA1 (1-800-242-8721). You can also visit us online at heart.org/jump.