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Shooting hoops for heart health

This week at Glenmont Elementary School, many students won't be rushing to buses when the bell rings. Instead, they'll be running to the gym, where the annual Hoops for Heart event is ongoing.

This is the 12th year Glenmont has held the event, and the school's program is one of the most successful for the nationwide initiative. About 90 percent of the student body will participate in this year's 3-day program.

The kids always look forward to participating in it, said Glenmont Secretary and event organizer Kathi Davey.

In addition to teaching kids about the heart and ways to keep it healthy, the event serves as a fundraiser, with proceeds going to the American Heart Association. While Glenmont is not the only Bethlehem Central school to hold the event, it's routinely among the highest earning schools in the under-500 enrollment category. Last year, Glenmont students raised $15,891, bringing the school's total take over the life of the event to nearly $240,000, according to the AHA.

Davey said the school hopes to break $20,000 in donations this year.

As evidenced by the high participation rate, Hoops for Hearts is always a great success, said Gym Teacher and event organizer Laurie Nolan. Some students keep coming back as volunteers once they graduate from Glenmont.

"The younger students, they have siblings who have been coming since they were preschoolers," she said.

Hoops for Hearts will run after school until 8:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. On Thursday, Feb. 11, fifth grade students will play a round robin tournament against teachers.

Unfortunately because of the size of the gym, there is not enough space for spectators. For more information or to make a donation, call Glenmont Elementary at 463-1154.

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