The SHAPE America-American Heart Association Partnership
In the late 1970s, Jean Barkow, of Milwaukee Riverside High School, held the first "rope-a-thon" with her local American Heart Association chapter. Following the event, Jean attended an SHAPE America Public Relations Conference in Chicago where she talked about her event with Faye Biles, chair of the NASPE PEPI Projects. They discussed the potential of that project as a national fund raising event and in 1977 Illinois held the first event as a pilot program. In 1978 the program went national and the American Heart Association and SHAPE America launched Jump Rope For Heart.
The American Heart Association and SHAPE America formed an agreement that shaped the program and includes an educational component to promote cardiovascular health in the schools. Since that time, the program has raised in excess of $700 million. Hoops For Heart started in 1995 and has raised in excess of $50 million for cardiovascular research and educational programs. Both programs are held in more than 28,000 schools across the nation and are present in all 50 states.
By working together, SHAPE America and the American Heart Association are making a difference in the lives of students, molding a new generation of healthy, physically active volunteers!
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