Kids Heart Challenge Exceeds Expectations

The annual Kids Heart Challenge is all about the power of a healthy heart. But at Gananda’s Richard Mann Elementary School, students also took the time to “stop and learn” about the power in their hands.

The month-long Heart Challenge included plenty of lessons and activities on how to strengthen a heart and the benefits of having a strong heart. On Feb. 28, the Physical Education Department added something new to the lessons: a video shared school-wide to teach hands-only CPR.

Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin, whose life was saved on the football field on Jan. 2, 2023 through CPR, was part of the video on behalf of the American Heart Association.

The exciting payoff was more than anyone at Gananda expected. 

Setting a fundraising goal of $11,111 for the Heart Challenge, Gananda students flew past that goal and finished with a grand total of $15,275.30. As for the CPR portion, anyone who took part and watch the video was encouraged to submit a pink heart that they signed. A grand total of 505 students, staff and community members took the time to learn hands-only CPR. 

The hearts were combined into one giant heart, which now hangs proudly in the main entry of Richard Mann Elementary School.

It doesn't stop there, either. Before the Heart Challenge kicked off, Principal Lumb challenged the RMES students and said if they beat their stated goal for fundraising, she would move her office outside for a day. Since there was no question about the goal being surpassed, Principal Lumb moved her office to the turf field on May 17 and fortunately, the weather cooperated. 

We are enormously #GanandaProud of our students and staff, who have always had big hearts when it comes to helping others. But now, thanks to Damar Hamlin and the American Heart Association, we have plenty of hands ready to help as well.