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Madawaska students raise $13,000 for healthy hearts

MADAWASKA, Maine — Under the guidance of physical education teacher Dan Cyr, students at Madawaska Elementary raised over $13,000 through the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Jump Rope for Heart program this past year.

Out of 165 schools in Maine who participated, Madawaska Elementary raised the fifth highest amount in the state.

Two students at Madawaska Elementary were the number one and three fundraisers in the entire state. Nicholas Poitras raised $1,700 and Andre Theriault raised $1,275.

Gary Urey, AHA youth market director in Maine, said Aug. 10 in a press release that the program is about being healthy while also fighting childhood obesity.

“It’s also about raising donations that fund the researchers and doctors who perform miracles every day for kids with sick hearts,” he said. “The schools, kids, and Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart coordinators who complete events are amazing in their support of AHA’s mission. They are the true heart heroes.”

Cyr, who coordinated the Madawaska event, stated,”Jump Rope for Heart is a good life lesson for the students to learn the different ways of helping fight heart disease and stroke. It also provides good physical activity for the students.”

Other schools in Aroostook County who participated were Dr. Levesque Elementary, Teague Park Elementary, Easton Elementary, Easton Jr/Sr. High School, Houlton Elementary, Woodland Consolidated School, and Limestone Community School.

Jump Rope for Heart takes place in elementary schools all over the nation. Participants learn jump rope skills, participate in community service and raise money for the AHA while learning how to develop heart-healthy habits like being physically active. The students collected money through both online and in-person donations, Cyr said.

“The theme for Jump Rope for Heart 2017 was Zoo Crew,” he said. “This means that the items the students received were based on what you see at the zoo.”

He explained students entered the gymnasium, registered and received Zoo Crew items. Second- and third-graders jumped in the morning, and fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders jumped in the afternoon. Students jumped rope for five minutes straight and rested for 10, performing the cycle six times for a total of 30 minutes of jumping rope. While the students jumped, door prizes were drawn and music played. While the rested, juice and fruit were available for them.

For more information on the program or to register as a school or as in individual, please visit: or contact Gary Urey at or 207-289-2390.

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