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South Man, Borst Celebrate 35 Years with Jump Rope

Many schools in the county and state participate in the annual Jump Rope for Heart program, but very few can say they have a teacher who has been dedicated to the program for thirty-five years. However, on Friday, April 24, 2015, Mary Borst celebrated her thirty-fifth Jump Rope for Heart at South Man Elementary.

Borst was instrumental in establishing the program in Logan County Schools and has worked diligently ever since to raise awareness about heart health through the physical education program.

“When Bea Orr first heard about the American Heart Association’s program, I went with her to a meeting in Charleston, and she asked, ‘Why aren’t we doing it?’ We brought it to Logan County and have done it ever since for almost every elementary school. It’s been successful because right from the beginning, Bea stressed the importance of health education and helping others,” says Borst.

She says not only is the program beneficial for the students but the community.

“This is a way to help others and give back to our community. There is a high rate of heart disease in this area, so it hits home with a lot of people. Our program continues to grow, and we keep adding things with the jump ropes to create skills the students can carry with them throughout their education.”

American Heart Association representative Lydia Pruitt says Ms. Borst and Logan County are valuable assets to Jump Rope for Heart.

“Not only is Mary a leader in Logan County, but she is a leader in the state. She is a representative for WVAHPERD (West Virginia Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance) and the longest-running Jump Rope for Heart coordinator in WV. The program has been in the state for 36 years, and she’s a part of it for 35.

“Logan County is so successful because pioneers like Bea Orr, Mary Borst, Dar Thieman, Myrtle Conley, and Terri Craft, who have been doing it the longest, make this a priority. Logan County continues to be a leader in the state in donations, and last year, the county raised more than $27,000 for the American Heart Association. There are excellent physical education programs in Logan County, and the students have the best jump skills in the state.”

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