The sounds of fourth graders eagerly trying to sink a basket ring out at the North Central Missouri YMCA last week. Standing in charge of the mass of young people is Rita Moore, Physical Education Coach at Brookfield Elementary School. Why are they there? Coach Moore has made it somewhat her legacy to take part and excel in the annual Hoops for Heart charity fundraising drive.
“Rita Moore has made saving lives a tradition at Brookfield Elementary School,” said Joe Pallikkathayil, of the American Heart Association – Youth and Community Programs Director for Missouri. “Her efforts to support the lifesaving work of the American Heart Association over the years have not only blessed the AHA but truly inspire heart-healthy lifestyles in the Brookfield community.”
Coach Moore makes sure that the children in her care have the opportunity to take part in this fun and potentially life saving event each year.
“The American Heart Association likes to share that it costs about $50 to train and certify someone on CPR,” said Pallikkathayil. “They think of every $50 raised in donations as another life saved through education. If that’s true, Rita Moore has led the students at Brookfield Elementary to save over 1,427 lives just since the year 2000. She has led Brookfield Elementary to be in the top 10 schools in the state of Missouri for almost that long.”
This dedication to not only her students, but the world at large, has not gone unnoticed. “Rita Moore has been a valuable member of the Brookfield R-3 team for the past 12 years,” said R-3 Elementary and Middle School Principal Melinda Wilbeck. “She has played a vital role in promoting health and wellness with her students and colleagues.”
Wilbeck noted that Coach Moore’s passion for Hoops and Jump Rope for Heart has rubbed off on her students. “Her passion for Hoops for Heart/Jump Rope for Heart has inspired numerous students to get involved in this worthwhile activity,” said Wilbeck. “As a result of her diligence and passion for this project, our school and community has been recognized by the American Heart Association for making significant contributions to help those in need.”