School honored for fundraising efforts

Published 4:59 pm Thursday, October 9, 2008

Riverchase Middle School students scored a slam dunk by raising more than $26,000 this past year for the American Heart Association.

Every year, the school participates in Hoops for Heart, an event in which students learn basketball skills while raising money.

Riverchase was the No. 1 fundraising school in AHA’s southeast region and the No. 3 middle school nationwide.

For the past two years, AHA has sponsored a Celebration Day at the school, in which students who raise money are allowed to miss classes for a day and take part in special activities. This year, for example, the school had a dunking booth and a wall climb, among other things.

Physical education teacher Lynn Mays said the school has raised more than $50,000 for AHA in the past two years.

“It’s fantastic,” she said. “We’re very proud of our students.”

Mays said the main goal of the fundraiser is to show students that exercise is an important part of daily life.

“Our first goal is to help our own health, and then do something for others,” Mays said. “We stress that the money raised goes to help people with heart problems.”

The Celebration Day event has really stepped up fundraising. Two years ago, Riverchase was a pilot school for the event, as AHA wanted to see if it was effective in fundraising. The event exceeded expectations and AHA now does Celebration Days for other schools.

“It’s a new way to reward the children for their efforts, and the children seem to really like it,” Mays said.

The event helps to connect the community, she said.

“It’s a positive effort by our students, for our community,” Mays said. “It’s good to learn to do something for others.”