Story and Photos by
Sgt. Gaelen Lowers
8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs
AIEA — An 8th Theater Sustainment Command unit helped a local school raise about $5,000 for Hawaii’s chapter of the American Heart Association, or AHA, by jumping rope, here, Feb. 22.
Soldiers from the 8th Special Troops Battalion, 8th TSC, teamed up with students from the Gustav H. Webling Elementary for the AHA fundraiser, “Jump Rope for Heart.”
Students received pledges for more than a month from community members, family and friends to support heart health while also staying healthy.
“The organization (AHA) is well known and does a lot of positive things for the community,” said Elizabeth Okamoto, school counselor and event coordinator. “The kids love the American Heart Association of Hawaii and were excited when we told them that we were going to do Jump Rope for Heart.”
The AHA, whose motto is “Learn and Live,” helps the community by sticking to four pillars: community, health care, education and research.
“Besides helping out a great organization like the American Heart Association, we are promoting a healthy lifestyle to the students here at the school,” said Sgt. Phillis White, retention noncommissioned officer, 8th STB.
“We want to make the kids aware of the importance of being healthy. That’s why we also come out several days during the month and provide physical education for the entire school.”
Every Wednesday, 8th STB’s Soldiers visit the school to conduct calisthenics and other exercises, so students understand that being healthy is important.
“We want to keep healthy and have healthy habits,” said Sherry Yamada, principal, Webling Elementary. “Our main goal is to just promote a healthy lifestyle. We’re very fortunate to have the Soldiers come out and help us so often.
“We have noticed that a lot of the children are able to physically do a lot of the things that are asked of them because of the physical education training the Soldiers have been providing on a weekly basis,” Yamada added.
“The Soldiers that are most involved are big kids at heart,” White said. “These Soldiers are always getting involved and asking when they can come back. It’s fun to see the kids smile and enjoy themselves, and when they enjoy themselves, we do too.”