FORT STEWART, Ga. - Soldiers of the 2-3 Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, joined students of the Richmond Hill Elementary School to participate in “Jump Rope for Heart” held at the school Feb. 26.
Jump Rope for Heart is a nation wide fund raising event put on by the American Heart Association.
According to AHA’s website, “Jump Rope For Heart is a fun event where you can jump rope, learn about your heart and how to keep it healthy, while raising money for the American Heart Association.”
At Richmond Hill Elementary School, the Jump Rope for Heart event serves an additional purpose, to help the military create bonds with the local community.
“It’s wonderful working with the soldiers [of 2-3 BSTB]; they’ve been with us for a couple of years now and they’ve always done a great job,” said Darcy Blakewood, a physical education teacher for the elementary school, and event coordinator for the Jump Rope for Heart.
“The kids love it and we’ve had several compliments from the teachers on just how well [the soldiers] interact with the kids,” she added.
Pvt. 1st Class Anthony Mercurio, an unmanned aerial vehicle repairer for the 2-3 BSTB, is participating in the event for the second year in a row.
“I volunteered this year because it was a lot of fun last year,” Mercurio said. “We get tired out quicker than the kids, but it is a lot of fun.”
The school has been hosting this event for the last 25 years, and according to Blakewood, came in 7th place in the state of Georgia last year in regards to money raised.
“The money we raise goes directly to fight heart disease and research and development for new medications,” said Blakewood.
This year the school is trying to raise $27,000, more than they rose last year.
If you would like to help them or any other team raise money for the American Heart Association, go to www.heart.org/jump and search for your team and donate today!