20150206_115816Student cheerleaders and basketball players are pictured with “local celebrities” from the Fair Haven Fire and Police Departments at the conclusion of the Hoops for Hearts event, held at Knollwood School on February 6.

Press release from Fair Haven School District

Sixth graders from Knollwood School cheered as their classmates took on local “celebrities” — law enforcement officers and firefighters — during a fast-paced “Hoops for Hearts” Championship Basketball Game on February 6. The “celebrities” achieved victory, but the real winner was the American Heart Association.

The first fundraiser of its kind at the school, Hoops for Hearts netted an astounding $7,560 — more than double the goal amount of $3,500 — to benefit the AHA. Approximately 119 Knollwood sixth-graders participated in the event, organized by first-year Physical Education and Health Teacher Kim Lagrotteria.

“The students were excited and helped motivate one another to reach their personal fundraising and physical education participation goals,” said Lagrotteria. “Students in other grades were asking how they could become a part of the event in the future, and donated money to help achieve our school’s goal.”

Hoops for Hearts activities took place during the month of February, designated “American Heart Month” by the Heart Association. Lagrotteria had challenged the sixth-grade students to meet a goal of $3,500 and provided some exciting incentives. Students were awarded small rubber ducks in recognition for their efforts, and proudly wore them throughout the school day. Even better, Lagrotteria upped the ante by promising to wear a duck costume if the school’s goal was met.

In addition to fundraising, Hoops for Hearts featured activities promoting physical fitness. A basketball tournament featuring all of the sixth graders was held during regular Physical Education classes. Then some exciting events took place in the Knollwood School gym on February 6.

The Championship Basketball Game was first up, followed by the “Celebrity Knock-Out” Game, which the Knollwood sixth-grade students won by having the last player left standing. The final event was the “Half-Court Challenge”, in which sixth-grade students making donations to the American Heart Association received chances to sink basketballs. The participants took their best shots as Lagrotteria (in her duck costume as promised), Andrea Mrusek of the American Heart Association, the celebs, and their classmates cheered them on. Prizes were awarded to those successfully making baskets.

Players in the Championship Basketball Game and cheerleaders were all members of the sixth-grade Physical Education class that raised the largest amount of funds. Cheerleaders were Brett-Cetnar Garrett, Caroline Danaher, Bridget Mikolajczyk, Charlotte Stant, Emma Walker, Maia Werner, and Kitty White. Basketball players were John Baker, Jack Costello, Wyatt Kemler, Aidan Kilfeather, David Livingston, Michael Strulowitz, Robby Sypeck, Jack Theodore, Spencer Torine, and Drew Venancio.