Fundraiser Involves Entire Community - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

05/13/05 - Woden

Fundraiser Involves Entire Community

by Donna McCollum

Jump Rope For Heart is a popular fundraiser for the American Heart Association. In Woden the event involves most of the community. By the size and enthusiasm of the crowd that filled King Gym you would think fans were cheering on the Woden Eagles. Instead they came to watch children jump rope.

Jump Rope For Heart is a pet project of Coach Gigi Bradshaw. With her encouragement the children raised more than $6,000 in two weeks. The American Heart Association will benefit, but so will the kids. Bradshaw explained, "We talked about good health, why you should exercise and also the benefit of raising the money for the association and research done."

Little Garrett Simms learned the lesson early. The kindergartner raised the most money, $500. He's inspired by his great grandfather. He's still alive thanks to a heart transplant fifteen years ago.

Garrett's mom, Brandy Simms said, "He knows he's raising money to help people who are sick. And I said, 'Do you know why you're jumping for papa?' and he says it's because he was sick. Well he's not sick anymore, but it still helps with his medicines and all the research."

All that aside, the fundraiser is successful because it's just plain old fashioned fun. Bradshaw said, "I let them get out here jump and have fun, show off and I just think it makes them feel good about themselves." Which gives all of Woden an opportunity to share that pride.

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