Chapelfield Elementary School students are jumping at the chance to raise $100,000 for the American Heart Association on Saturday, Feb. 2, at Gahanna Lincoln High School.
Chapelfield physical education teacher Jon Grundtisch said this marks a special year for Chapelfield's Jump Rope for Heart program, saying the students have set a goal of raising $9,716 that would bring the school's total to $100,000 over the course of the school's 23-year involvement.
If the goal is met, Grundtisch said, he has promised to jump rope 100,000 times before next year's Jump Rope for Heart event. That averages to about 275 jumps every day for a year, he said.
Grundtisch took 30 pies in the face when the elementary met a similar challenge in 2009.
Grundtisch, who has led the Jump Rope for Heart program since 1991, said the fundraiser helps in the effort to fight heart disease and stroke, the nation's No.s 1 and 4 killers, respectively.
He said the AHA funds lifesaving heart and stroke research and community and educational programs for youth.
Along with Chapelfield, Royal Manor Elementary School also will participate in Jump Rope for Heart from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 2 at the high school.
Jump Rope For Heart teaches students how physical fitness benefits the heart and shows them volunteering can be a fun and positive experience for the whole community, according to Grundtisch.
He said the need to educate children about the importance of physical activity couldn't be timelier. According to recent studies, he said, about one-third of children ages 2 to 19 are overweight and obese.
For more than 33 years, Jump Rope For Heart has raised more than $818 million for the fight against heart disease and stroke.
Jump Rope For Heart is co-sponsored by the AHA and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.
To support Chapelfield's event, go online to jumpgra.kintera.org/chapelfieldelementaryschool. To make a pledge for Grundtisch, go online to jumpgra.kintera.org/jongrundtisch.