A heartfelt effort for a good cause

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Students from James Irvine Intermediate School in Garden Grove participated in the annual "Heart Walk" Saturday held at Angel Stadium, which benefits the American Heart Association.

Thirty-four 7th and 8th graders from Irvine Intermediate School's clubs joined in the walk. Students represented the ASB Club, National Junior Honor Society, journalism, Science Club, Human Relations, drama and AVID.

Students from James Irvine Intermediate School in Garden Grove participated in the annual "Heart Walk" Saturday held at Angel Stadium, which benefits the American Heart Association.

Thirty-four 7th and 8th graders from Irvine Intermediate School's clubs joined in the walk. Students represented the ASB Club, National Junior Honor Society, journalism, Science Club, Human Relations, drama and AVID.

Students at the 5K or 3.1 mile walk/run were accompanied by ASB Advisor Jane White and Human Relations Advisor Eric Simons and were sponsored by the law firm of  Newmeyer & Dillion LLP, which paid the students' registration fee, which allowed the students  to get pledges without a minimum requirement to attend the event.

The law firm also furnished muffins, snacks, and T-shirts for the participating students and let them use its “Tent” as a home base.

The school raised $1,004 for the American Heart Association and helped the sponsor and Team Captain Sara Gomez meet the team goal of $30,000.

"This was our first time coming together with all of the clubs on our campus, to do a service project for our community," said White. "This is the first time we have attended the Heart Walk, but our clubs have participated separately in other events."

White said the ASB paid for the student's transportation, discounted from the Garden Grove Unified School District.

"We asked the students to do a service project, to get them in touch with the needs of others," White said.

White said that last year the NJSH club sponsored Pennies for Patients, which benefits LLS children.

"Our entire student body participated in donating, and we exceeded our goal," she said. "Our NJSH advisor, Sydnie Le, and Eric Simons are getting ready to kick off the second annual Pennies for Patients drive."

Other good projects students at James Irvine are participating in, include:

Human Relations Club Advisor Joi Stewart does an annual Canned Food Drive, which benefits Second Harvest Food Bank that supplies food to Orange County Families in need.  Human Relations has been heading-up this fundraiser for the past 10 years.

The Human Relations Club also spearheads an anti-bullying campaign and promotes tolerance and acceptance of others.  Students from Human Relations and ASB Students attend an annual "Walk In My Shoes Symposium" to learn about how to promote positive change and create an inclusive and safe school environment.

The ASB students also attend an annual leadership conference called LASC, which teaches students how to be effective leaders, and how to lead by example. They attend workshops that promote school spirit and teaches ASB students how to build a cohesive school community.

They listen to guest speakers who discuss character traits, kindness toward others and what leadership is all about.

ASB students also participated in the Ride for Hope, which benefits children who are facing difficult challenges. The proceeds for the event help pay for summer camp for those children.  The Ride for Hope is a 25-mile bike ride along the coast, and event students participated in twice.

Past ASB students have also given their time to create Easter baskets for less-fortunate children in the community. They put baskets together with items donated by a local Cub Scout Pack and helped with the items for an Easter egg hunt.

Opening ceremonies Saturday began at 8:30 a.m., with the Heart Walk taking place at 9 a.m. The Survivor's Walk began 10 minutes earlier.

There were thousands of participants lined up as far as the eye could see from under the red hat entrance at Angel Stadium, that included individuals, families, babies in strollers, students and family dogs on a leashes.

Also included was a health expo, food and educational booths, a kid's zone, pet zone, live music, CPR demos and other sponsored booths throughout the Expo.

The money raised through the Heart and Stroke Walk funds research and initiatives that promote the prevention, treatment and better patient care in the areas of cardiovascular disease, the leading killer in the United States.

The American Heart Association is the nation's largest voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of heart disease and stroke.

Survivors received a Red Cap from the American Heart Association to commemorate their victory over heart disease and stroke.

There was a VIP Breakfast for participants who raised $1,000-plus by March 8, and there was light food served in tents in the festival area for all participants, along with water provided along the walking route.