Area charter schools raise record-breaking funds for American Heart Association

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Charter school administrators, students and parents presented a check to the American Heart Association during a recent ceremony. Photo courtesy Roger Bacon Academy, Inc.
Charter school administrators, students and parents presented a check to the American Heart Association during a recent ceremony. Photo courtesy Roger Bacon Academy Inc.

Four local charter schools have raised the bar–and hit a record high–in fundraising for the American Heart Association.

During a recent ceremony, more than 500 students from Charter Day School in Leland, Columbus Charter School in Whiteville, Douglass Academy in Wilmington and South Brunswick Charter School in Southport, and their parents, educators gave American Heart Association (AHA) representatives a check for $25,600.

The money was raised during the AHA’s annual Jump Rope for Heart campaign.

This year’s donations mark the highest-ever fundraising total for the system of Roger Bacon Academy, Inc. schools, according to a release from the company.

The money will be used for research and education, Keith Cummins, AHA Vice President of Youth Engagement, said during the ceremony at Charter Day School.

“So far, fundraising like this has funded research to develop things like bypass surgeries, heart stints and cholesterol medications. In five to 10 years, we hope to be growing healthy hearts from skin cells. When we do, it will be because of contributions like yours,” he told students.

Students at the four charter schools raised the money by enlisting friends and family to pledge funds or sponsor them for jump-roping events in their physical education classes.

For one Charter Day School family, Jump Rope for Heart was a celebration of victory. Fifth-grader Mirella Bair jumped in honor of her sister, Mikayla, who suffered from heart disease.

“Right after Mikayla was cleared by her cardiologist, paperwork came home about the Jump Rope for Heart fundraiser. Both girls said they wanted to participate. Both raised over $100 and are proud of their reasons for raising money,” their mother, Lara Bair, said.

Mikayla, a second-grade student, in turn jumped in memory of her grandfather, who died two years ago from heart complications.

“This fundraiser produces heart research, awareness and treatment, all of which save lives,” Lara Bair noted. “We have a very special nine-year-old daughter who is living proof.”

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