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February 19, 2021
By Suzanne Carlos, Development Coordinator
Holy Family Catholic Academy and Early Learning Center
Students have raised $224,793 over the years for the American Heart Association
Students at Holy Family Catholic Academy (HFCA) and Early Learning Center (ELC) raised $19,137 for the American Heart Association (AHA) at their Kids Heart Challenge (KHC) event held on February 12, 2021. Despite the pandemic, this shatters the record for the highest dollar amount ever raised by HFCA in a single year. HFCA's previous record was $13,062 set in 2004. Although HFCA is a relatively small school with 320 students currently enrolled, they rank in the top 5 schools statewide for fundraising, out of 162 schools participating this year. Over the years, HFCA students have raised $224,793 for the American Heart Association through its Kids Heart Challenge.
During the annual Kids Heart Challenge event, HFCA students from preschool through the 8th grade jump rope, hula hoop and participate in other heart-healthy physical fitness activities--all while remaining socially-distanced. Students, faculty & staff wore red shirts to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease and save lives. Following the event, HFCA's PTG surprised the entire student body with refreshing popsicles. The American Heart Association works with over 32,000 schools in its nationwide movement to finally and forever change the course of heart disease, stroke and congenital heart defects. Last year, 191 schools participated statewide, raising over $600,000.
Students raise money by soliciting donations from family and friends. HFCA 5th grader Nicole Shigeta is the school's top fundraiser this year, having single-handedly raised $1,308 in life-saving donations. Nicole said she was inspired "to work hard, never give up, and try my best" because her grandpa passed away after suffering several heart attacks. Nicole said she lives an active lifestyle by eating healthy vegetables and working out with her family at UFC gym. Nicole said her favorite part of the Kids Heart Challenge event was "when we got to jump rope, hula hoop and jump on the trampoline because kids nowadays just spend time on electronics and barely go outside and play. It's the time you get to let out all your energy, burn calories and play with your friends. We can still figure out a way to play together while social distancing. We keep moving and get some exercise together."