Townsend Harris hosts Jump Rope/Hoops for Hearts Fundraiser

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Each year, America loses 610,000 people to heart disease. As a school bound to the principles of the Ephebic Oath,Townsend Harris’ physical education department strove to raise awareness for the cause with the Jump Rope/Hoops for Heart event on Valentine’s Day. Students participated in heart-healthy exercises, such as jump roping and hula hooping, to raise money to help eliminate America’s leading cause of death.

Initially inspired by the fundraiser’s popularity among local middle schools, the newly established charity committee decided that hosting Hoops for Hearts at Townsend Harris would be an effective and a successful way to improve our school’s charity outreach.

According to Ilma Aamir, one of the lead organizers and head of the Charity Committee, all proceeds collected by gym teachers or students in the cafeteria will go to the American Heart Association to further the advancement of medical treatments for heart disease. Their online mission statement reads: “The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke…To fight these diseases, we fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies, and provide critical tolls and information to save and improve lives.”

Moreover, all participating students were rewarded with 1 hour of in-school community service for every $10, a wide variety of prizes, and the satisfaction of helping save thousands of lives.

Ilma comments, “I think it’s very important for our school to participate in events such as these that benefit the greater community, because we make a promise every year to ‘leave our city greater than we found it’ and this is a great way to do just that. Even going beyond that, as members of a community we should always help in any way that we can, because small actions really add up and can have a big impact. Often we become really tied up to school and our work, but it helps to have a bit of perspective, and do things for others from time to time.”

By holding this event, the charity committee hopes not only to create a positive impact on the community, but to set an example for future generations of Harrisites.

“Since we are the future of the world, I think now is the prime time to stress the importance of giving back and lending a helping hand to those who are in need so that it becomes a habit to later years,” adds senior and event organizer Janice Su.

Following a freshman gym class, gym teacher Jamal Bermudez remarks, “I feel honored to be a part of such a movement that brings awareness to an epidemic that we have in America. The number one way people die in America is from heart disease, so if by having one physical education class dedicated to raising awareness and having fun, I feel happy to be a part of it.”

After the event, the charity committee reported that they managed to raise about $3,000, exceeding their goal of at least $1,200, with some students donating over $100. Freshman Joyce Zheng, one of the many who donated, said, “I donated because it’s for a good cause and if it’s one dollar it still makes a difference.”

As a result of this year’s staggering success, the charity committee and Coordinator of Student Activities, Sarah Oberlander, has high hopes for hosting similar events later in the year and making this an annual tradition at our school.