The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

January 23, 2014

School ups Heart Association fundraising goal

ST. PETER — It’s a good thing to tell an elementary-age child the importance of raising money for the American Heart Association.

It’s an even better thing to teach them about kids their own age with heart defects so they can associate faces with the good deeds they’re doing, said Christi Maloney, phy-ed teacher at St. Peter South Elementary Early Learning Center.

Leading up to the K-2 school’s annual Jump Rope for Heart event, the physical education classes are coming together and learning about four students with heart defects. The students sit in the gym in the shape of a heart, and they learn about the challenges facing a peer. Three of the students were born with holes in their hearts, and the fourth was born with half a heart.

“We need to see that kids are born with heart defects, and we want kids to be aware of why we do the volunteer service of raising money for the American Heart Association,” Maloney said.

The annual event also helps Maloney educate her students on the importance of staying heart healthy through exercise, eating right and remaining tobacco- and alcohol-free.

Last year the school had a goal of raising $7,500 but was able to raise $10,457. So this year’s goal is to raise $12,500.

Last year South Principal Darin Doherty vowed to wear a red dress at school if the school met its goal, a promise that he kept and that the students loved. Maloney is in the process of negotiating with Doherty about what this year’s prize will be.

South’s Jump Rope for Heart event will be Feb. 12 and 13. Eagle Lake Elementary’s event is today.

For information on how to pledge to Eagle Lake, email Jane Brunz at For information on how to pledge to South, email Maloney at

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