KINGSTON – Denise Norris of Genoa said her son, Beau, a first-grader at Kingston Elementary School, was born with multiple heart defects and has had four open-heart surgeries and several additional procedures so far.
From a day-to-day aspect, Norris said, the six-year-old plays just like any other kid but gets tired a bit more easily. When it comes to anything more medically involved, she said, Beau needs to travel to Chicago or Peoria for more specialized procedures because of his conditions.
“So something like getting his tonsils out was a little more complicated than the average kid,” Norris said.
Kingston Elementary School students raised $4,500 on Feb. 11 for the Kids Heart Challenge through American Heart Association with many hops, skips and jumps during gym class this month to help young people with heart conditions.
Norris said Beau also participated in the event and raised $236 in donations.
Hosting events such as these “means more research, which ultimately means better outcomes for the kiddos,” Norris said.
Stefanie Hill, principal at Kingston Elementary School, said the objective of these quarterly service projects is to reach out to many types of groups and not just local food pantries, for example. She said the school also tries to have students fundraise for causes that directly affect their classmates.
Hill said the funds raised is about on par with events in years past, especially given the number of snow days this winter that ate into days preparing for the event.
“I’m impressed with what these kids can do," Hill said. "They’re amazing."