Westwood Elementary School was recognized earlier this month for having been part of the Manitoba Heart and Stroke Foundation's JUMP Rope for Heart program since it began in 1982.
"Our school has been doing it for 30 years," said Westwood vice-principal Jonathan Wamboldt. "Only a couple of schools in the province have done this."
Just two others, in fact, of the 173 schools currently participating – Gladstone Elementary School in Gladstone and Ecole Arthur Meighan School in Portage la Prairie, the Heart and Stroke Foundation says.
Mike Thorbourne, a physical education teacher at Westwood who serves as the local elementary school's JUMP teacher, said in the Heart and Stroke Foundation's Jack's Flash newsletter about the JUMP Rope for Heart program that a past tragedy involving a Westwood student who collapsed at school and died days later cemented the connection between the school and the fundraising program.
"After her death, it was discovered that she had a rare heart condition that was never detected," he said. "In her memory, we get motivated each spring to prevent tragedies like this from happening again by supporting JUMP Rope for Heart."
Westwood students raised nearly $7,400 through the JUMP Rope for Heart program this school year.