Riley Dutcher, left, and her aunt Brooke Terrier
Morrisville Riley Dutcher may only be in kindergarten, but she is already learning some valuable lessons. Earlier this month, Riley raised more than $1,000 by herself as part of the American Heart Association’s Jump Rope For Heart event at Edward Andrews Elementary School in Morrisville.
Riley says her efforts were in honor of her aunt, Brooke Terrier. Brooke was born with a hole in her heart, a condition called atrial septal defect. Doctors found the problem just before her seventh birthday. Since then, Brooke has also been diagnosed with other heart problems and had open heart surgery at age eight. Now, she is a healthy 15-year-old girl. Brooke is a good student at Brookfield Central School and is active in soccer, volleyball and softball.
Riley’s mother, Katherine Dutcher, says her daughter is typically shy, but Jump Rope For Heart gave her an opportunity to come out of her shell. “She did a great job asking people to sponsor her for Jump Rope For Heart,” Katherine said, “We are very proud of Riley, but we are also proud of all the people that helped support the American Heart Association with a donation.”
Riley wasn’t the only one who did a lot of fundraising. Edward Andrews Elementary school also had its best year ever, raising more than $7,000.
Jump Rope For Heart is a national educational fund-raising program that is sponsored by the American Heart Association and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.
Jumping individually or as teams, students ask friends and family for donations and receive thank-you gifts based on the dollars they raise. Thousands of students in hundreds of schools in Central New York participated last year.