On Friday, Feb. 15 the first- through sixth-grade classes at Wewahitchka Elementary School participated in the annual Hoops for Heart fundraiser.
Orchestrated by Physical Education teacher Stuart Vines, the school successfully raised over $3,000 to be donated to the American Heart Association to help children suffering from heart problems.
Students were shown a video about heart health and the effects it can have on families and then given two weeks to raise as much money as they could.
Sixth-grader Rayanna Panis jumped at the opportunity and received 30 donations, accumulating $130 for a cause that was close to her.
Having grandparents and a father who suffered from heart conditions she was determined to help out the cause. She thanked her big family and network of friends for helping raise the most of anyone in her class.
The life-saving community service program offered prizes to students who raised the most money, though with a $5 donation students were able to enjoy an open phys ed class in the Baxley Gymnasium with basketball, jump ropes, hula hoops, treats and music.
The gym was decorated with inspirational banners painted by students during art class.
“I liked being able to help people,” said Savannah Lister, a fifth-grader who raised $10 toward the cause.
Fellow fifth grader Seth Calareso was also able to raise $10 in donations and mentioned that his uncle has heart problems which drove him to collect additional money.
As the students enjoyed their afternoon hoops, Vines’ assistant, Teresa Redd, totaled up the donations with a smile on her face, confident that they’d met their goals.
The class that raised the most in donations will also receive a pizza party.