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‘Hoops for Heart’ at PS 197

The Brooklyn Paper
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Fancy-footed students at PS 197 are now also heart heroes after raising close to $5,000 for the American Heart Association with a jump-a-thon.

The good Samaritans hopped to it with fellow leaping lizards in the gym, swishing the hula hoop and jumping rope — including teasing their toes in the more complex Double-Dutch variety — to add to their healthful buzz as special guest Jersey Express Forward Kayode Ayeni, named 2010-2011 American Basketball Association’s All-Star Game Most Valuable Player, boosted them from the sidelines.

Lyubov Falkovich, a student in Class 4-415, performed double duty by jumping rope and swirling the massive ring around her hips, while the likes of Class 5-415 pupil Aylagul Stefan preferred to skip in place, the floor sweetly vibrating beneath their clipped hops.

To prepare for their big day, students watched a video about children with heart disease during a kick-off assembly at the Midwood school, which is on E. 22nd Street and Kings Highway.

A post-benefit ceremony honored some of the top fundraisers with medals. They included “heart heroes” Bradon and Jared Berstein, who raised $250 each; Riley Felicien with a $735 haul; and Quinton Torrence, who managed to get $555 in pledges.

The well-heeled bunch was also well-focused while jumping, according to teacher Lucille Mauro, who runs the annual benefit.

“They were jumping in the memory of someone they had lost, or for someone they know who has heart disease,” she said.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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