Port Dickinson Elementary student raises $2,000 for the American Heart Association

By Anna Norris

PE teachers Kevin Novotny and Keith Hayes with Jessica Gates

June 25, 2014 Updated Jun 25, 2014 at 5:37 PM EDT

Port Dickinson, NY (WBNG Binghamton) A third-grader at Port Dickinson Elementary School proved that you're never too young to make a difference.

Jessica Gates raised $2,000 at this year’s Jump Rope For Heart event at her school.

She wrote more than 100 emails to friends and family asking for support in honor of her grandfather, who is a heart disease survivor.

Jessica said the best part about Jump Rope For Heart was “helping my Grampy because he could have died.” In her message to supporters, she said she wants others to have the same help her grandfather did.

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.

In the Southern Tier, the majority of area elementary schools participate in the program.

“In addition to raising life-saving funds, jumping rope also promotes physical activity, helping kids to live stronger, more active lives,” said Jeff Masline, Youth Market Director. “Childhood obesity is one of our nation’s leading health threats.”

Jump Rope For Heart events can also take place throughout the school year.