Gowanda celebrates Heart Month

Submitted Photo The Gowanda Elementary School staff joined together to raise $272 as they sported red clothes and jeans earlier this month.

OBSERVER Staff Writer

GOWANDA — The Gowanda Elementary School staff raised $272 in honor of American Heart Month and Wear Red Day that was celebrated the week of Jan. 30-Feb. 3.

The effort was guided by Carol Nephew, who stated that she was not the only one who helped run the week of activities.

“Our school raises money for a lot of things,” Nephew said. “We have Jeans Days and in our building, we each contribute $5 to wear jeans. And sometimes it’s for like a national thing like National Denim Day, sometimes it’s for a local family that suffered a house fire or something.

“So there is different causes. But several years ago — and I don’t know how many years I’ve been doing this now — I thought, ‘Why not for the National Wear Red Day?'”

Nephew added that her family also experienced heart disease issues, which enhanced her reasoning to start it.

“It seems like a cause that was worthwhile,” she said, “at least for raising money during the Jeans Day. So it started as a Jeans Day and it expanded to a ‘we could do some fitness activities to go along with this. We could do a heart-healthy lunch to go along with this.'”

For the students, they were encouraged to participate in eating healthy, which included the specialty of the day. On Jan. 30, the students embraced red hands. This could have been through accessories or nail polish.

The faculty were also incentivized to go full board as they would be gifted a raffle ticket to win prizes.

“I think it’s important that we do our part to raise the awareness to heart health in our local community, because it impacts so many people, especially women,” Nephew said. “The figures are one in three women suffer from heart disease… You don’t hear as much about the heart.”

The building’s commitment to the week improved the message to the students.

“We need to start this message young,” Nephew concluded.