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8th grade student donates largest contribution toward American Heart Association fundraiser

Robert R. Lazar Middle School marks 10th Anniversary of AHA participation with $1,400 contribution

February was Heart Healthy Month for the American Heart Association, and two teachers at Robert R. Lazar Middle School in Montville Township, New Jersey, celebrated 10 years of supporting AHA programs. School Nurse Dorian Vicente, RN, CSN, and Physical Education Teacher Brianne Tesseyman helped to raise Heart Health awareness throughout the month of February.  The variety of events included Wear Red Day and the AHA exercise fundraiser: “Jump Rope for Heart.”

Given weather delays, holidays and eighth grade scheduling demands, the two found scheduling the “Jump Rope for Heart” event challenging, but decided on a Thursday to hold the event the next day.

Over $1,000 was raised at the jump rope event. The school’s largest single contribution was $115 donated by eighth grade student Juliana Racioppi.

Racioppi, whose great- grandfather died of heart disease, said, “I wanted to raise the money for him.”

With less than a day to collect funds, the enterprising student called her grandmother who helped her to secure a $50 corporate contribution. Other family members also offered support.

Principal Sharon Carr presented Racioppi with a medal that is inscribed, “I did my part to save a heart.”

“We are so proud of Juliana,” Carr said. “She is such a kind and caring young woman and her efforts on behalf of the American Heart Association and in honor of her grandpa reflect her kindness.”

Another $280 was donated by Lazar faculty and staff on Wear Red Day. Additional contributions throughout the month brought the school’s total contribution for AHA to more than $1,400.