Becton celebrates American Heart Month and Valentine’s Day! – The bird’s eye view
February celebrates American Heart Month with Valentine’s Day. American Heart Month is observed to honor those who suffer from heart disease as well as those who have survived these diseases. This is a widespread problem due to the fact that a number of people are treated for medical heart problems each year. However, with the proper care and awareness, the risk of heart disease can be eliminated. On a different note, people dealing with heart complications can still show their love on Valentine’s Day! The party is a sweet way to show loved ones, survivors or not, that we take care of them and that we love them. Becton Regional High School hosts a multitude of fundraisers and events throughout the month in honor of these two appreciations, allowing Becton students and staff to learn more about these holidays. while participating in exciting school activities!
To give some context, American Heart Month was officially established in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, who also suffered a heart attack. Unfortunately, the need for national awareness on this subject has only grown over time. In fact, the AHA statistics on heart disease and stroke reports that “nearly 18.6 million people worldwide died of cardiovascular disease in 2019,” as Heart.org Explain. Although this statistic is alarming, it is possible that it is lowered. There are many steps each person can take to reduce their risk of heart disease. The bulletin board at the Becton PAC center even shares a few. For example, the advice explains that eating healthy, sleeping well and exercising can combat the risk of heart disease. He also shares the warning signs of heart disease a person may experience, including fatigue, dizziness and cold sweats. Although the symptoms vary from person to person, it is important to be aware of them in order to receive proper medical attention as soon as possible if necessary.
One fundraiser that takes place in honor of American Heart Month is the mask sale that Key Club and its advisor, Mrs. Kimberly Damelio, organize. Club members prepared themed masks with red hearts decorated for American Heart Month and multicolored hearts decorated for Valentine’s Day. Each mask was sold for only 1 dollar! Funds raised will be combined with the ‘Becton Has Heart’ fundraiser that Mrs. Jessica O’Driscoll is organizing which will essentially be donated to the American Heart Association. Damelio explains “[The ultimate goal] is to raise money for the American Heart Association, raise awareness and get Key Club to do more activities to help their community! The COVID-19 pandemic has added restrictions to many aspects of life and Key Club fundraising has also been affected. The club was limited by not being able to sell food for the past few years, so came up with the idea of selling face masks instead, which was clever! Fundraising also motivates teachers, as those who purchase and wear a decorated mask on February 14 will have the option of wearing jeans! Damelio herself incorporates the holiday spirit into her own classes and enjoys baking chocolate covered strawberries or just plain chocolate treats with her students this time of year.
Along with the organization of the “Becton has heart“GoFundMe fundraiser which collects donations for the American Heart Association, O’Driscoll had also held a few other fundraisers and sales in Becton. The school store sold chocolates, flowers and even teddy bears in the spirit of Valentine’s Day! After returning to Becton after a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the school store has successfully returned. Partners In Education, or better known as PIE, was in charge of this sale, as well as the full-time school store. The money from this sale will go to the school store to continue to run it successfully. Proceeds from this Valentine’s Day sale will also be used for scholarships for seniors. O’Driscoll shares that she believes “[Valentine’s Day] is an extra and special day to remember the importance of people and what they mean to you. In addition, she explains that this sale was a fun way to give gifts to loved ones, whether family, friends or partners and encourages students to participate again next year!
O’Driscoll had also organized the Match-O-Matics survey which was available to all students. This survey encourages students to answer questions about themselves, their personalities and their interests. Subsequently, O’Driscoll and staff were able to pair students with other students with whom they were most compatible. Students paid $1 to receive their results and were then able to connect with their match, if they wished. O’Driscoll explained “We want to organize fun events for students and staff to make school more enjoyable” when asked what the purpose of this fundraiser was. Money raised through the Match-O-Matics survey will also go to the school store.
Finally, the junior class and their advisor, Ms. Polmann, held a Valentine’s Day-themed fundraiser called “Candy Grams!” This fundraiser encouraged students to purchase note cards with different themes and phrases, such as “I loa you!” or “You are me were meant to be bee!” Students were also able to include a personal message in these cards, and they were then attached to candy bags. Polmann explains that the purpose of this fundraiser was to “[spread] love to friends, classmates, and even teachers, because Valentine’s Day is so much more than just romantic love. These grams were available to send to anyone from friends to lovers to teachers. All funds received from this fundraiser will go towards the junior class prom. Kyla Groh and Aimee Bulger, the junior class president and vice president, are the ones who came up with this fundraising idea. Bulger shared that she was inspired by a fundraiser from Becton’s other classes. Groh also said the two “knew they wanted to host a fundraiser where students could interact with each other through fun posts.” The two explained that “[We] are truly committed to raising money for prom and giving people a sweet and simple Valentine’s Day gift!” This fundraiser allowed students to participate in school events and support the junior class!
While these fundraisers and events won’t be around forever, their spirit should never be forgotten. As American Heart Month celebrates survivors and victims of heart disease, it is important to be aware of the symptoms and effects of heart disease and to take precautions against it. It is also necessary to show love to those who face these diseases and to express our love to our loved ones on Valentine’s Day and other days. Becton Regional High School held many fundraisers and sales this month to commemorate these events. As the month draws to a close, it should be encouraged to carry on the spirit of these and continue to show our appreciation and love for those around us.