Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Heart appeal ropes in $10,000

Zara Smith is on target to raise a record-breaking $10,000 for Jump Rope for Heart.

BARBARA SUNGAILA July 3, 2014 3:10am

Zara Smith, 11, takes part in the Jump Rope for Heart appeal. Photo: Barbara Sungaila


When she started skipping on Friday morning, Axedale Primary School student Zara Smith, 11, had already made more than $9500 for Jump Rope for Heartmore than any single fundraiser in the event’s history.

Her mother Rachel said Zara had until the end of the school holidays to reach $10,000.

‘‘But her new goal is $11,000 or more,’’ Mrs Smith said.

‘‘It’s an amazing experience for her and for us... We couldn’t be prouder.

‘‘I think for us it probably meant a lot more because of (her father) Jeff having his heart attack and his father dying at 47 of a heart attack.

‘‘I was born with a hole in my heart and I still have a heart murmur.

‘‘My father has to have a heart operation in the next couple of years, so it runs on both sides.’’

Jeff Smith said he had no idea his daughter would manage to raise as much as she had.

‘‘The generosity of everyone that’s given has blown us away,’’ he said.

Zara said she was overwhelmed by the support she had received.

‘‘It’s really awesome,’’ she said.

Axedale principal Lex Johnstone said students had been in training for four to five weeks.

‘‘We’ve had three fitness sessions a weekso learning lots of skills and the big kids have been teaching the little kids lots of peppers and cross-overs and double-unders and other bits and pieces,’’ he said.

He said Zara’s fundraising efforts were amazing and he congratulated the other students who had raised between $1100 and $1200 in total.

‘‘Some have got $2, $5, and $10 sponsorships and some have raised over $100 which has been really great.

‘‘Our mission at the start was for everyone to do a little bit and that adds up to a lot.’’

Heart Foundation Victoria chief executive Diana Heggie congratulated Zara and her family who had gone above and beyond in their effort to raise money for the Heart Foundation.

‘‘We are particularly proud of the effort Zara and her family have made,’’ she said.

‘‘Not only is Zara looking after her own heart by skipping and being active, she is also looking after the hearts of all Australians by raising funds to help the Heart Foundation continue its lifesaving work.’’

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