CNY’s top Jump Rope For Heart fundraiser throws pie in teacher’s face

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is proud to honor an Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Elementary School first-grader for his fundraising work with Jump Rope For Heart.

David Holst and Dan BryantDavid Holst raised more than $3,000 this year to help fight heart disease and stroke this year. David was the top fundraiser in his school and the top fundraiser in Central New York in the history of Jump Rope For Heart. As part of his reward from the school, David got the chance to throw a pie in PE teacher Dan Bryant’s face on Monday morning. David is already looking forward to next year. He says he can’t wait to throw another pie!

David with his family and PE teachers
David with his family and PE teachers

David and his family understand why Jump Rope For Heart is so important. David is a heart disease survivor himself. He was born with a congenital heart defect and had surgery at six days old to repair the problem. David’s mother Natalie Holst says he still sees a cardiologist every six months and will eventually need another surgery since he will grow out of the repair. Natalie says a lot of people know about David’s story, but she was still surprised at the outpouring of donations David received.

David was eligible for thank you gifts through the Jump Rope For Heart program because of the amount of money he raised, but decided to donate those gifts to kids in the hospital. “I wanted to raise money because I had heart surgery,” he said, “and I wanted to give them toys because you don’t get toys in the hospital.”

Jump Rope For Heart events raise money for the American Heart Association, which funds lifesaving heart and stroke research and community and educational programs for our youth. Students also learned about the importance of staying physically active. Schools can benefit by earning free PE equipment through the Jump Rope For Heart program.

Jump Rope For Heart teaches students how physical fitness benefits the heart and shows them that volunteering can be a fun and positive experience for the whole community. The need to educate children about the importance of physical activity couldn’t be timelier. According to recent studies, about one-third of children ages 2 to 19 are overweight and obese.

“By including physical activity into their daily routines, kids can significantly reduce the onset and burden of heart disease,” said Meg Gibbons, Youth Market Director. “By raising money through Jump Rope For Heart, we are preventing heart disease and obesity for the next generation of Americans. Kids are literally jumping into a heart healthier life while becoming passionate about raising money for other kids with sick hearts.”

For 37 years, Jump Rope For Heart has raised more than $818 million for the fight against heart disease and stroke. Millions of students have jumped rope and learned about heart health and how nutrition and physical activity can help prevent heart disease and stroke. Jump Rope For Heart is co-sponsored by the American Heart Association and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

Please help our students help others by making a donation. If you would like to help more, call your nearest American Heart Association office at (315) 728-7540 or call 1-800-AHA-USA1 (1-800-242-8721). You can also visit us online at

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