by Sue Austreng
The rope arcing over his head and sweeping beneath his feet, eight-year-old Quinn Knudsvig can jump 100 times in a row before missing.
Quinn, a third grader at Morris Bye Elementary School, Coon Rapids, loves to jump rope – a skill he picked up a couple of years ago and likes to practice every day. And he loves to use his jumping expertise to help other people.
In fact, Feb. 1, Quinn jumped rope in the Morris Bye gymnasium, raising money as part of the American Heart Association’s annual Jump Rope for Heart event.
For the second year in a row, Quinn raised more money than anyone else at his school, coming in with $574 in Jump Rope for Heart pledges – that’s more than one-third of the total money raised by the 30 Morris Bye Jump Rope for Heart participants who collected pledges for their jump roping activity.
“We raised a total of $1,700 this year for Jump Rope for Heart. Quinn raised $574 of that – that’s pretty remarkable,” said Steve Clagget, Quinn’s gym teacher at Morris Bye. “In fact, that’s more money than I’ve ever seen any one student raise for Jump Rope for Heart.”
Last year Quinn raised $505 for Jump Rope for Heart, also more than anyone else at Morris Bye.
The record-setting jump roper was awarded medals for his fund-raising accomplishment, but what Quinn considers a greater accomplishment is helping people who have heart disease.
Quinn lost his great-grandmother to a heart condition last year. Not only that, Quinn’s little brother has asthma and when he and his parents were in the hospital visiting him, Quinn heard families talking about their children with heart trouble.
“I don’t want people to die,” Quinn said when asked why he works so hard to raise money for the American Heart Association.
Quinn’s mom, Jacki Knudsvig, said her little boy insists on going door-to-door to raise money, makes sure she asks people she works with to contribute and pleads with family and friends to give money.
“He said he has to help people with bad hearts. He doesn’t want kids his age to be sick. He doesn’t want other kids’ grandmas to die,” Jacki said.
And so, Quinn jumps rope.
His goal for next year’s Jump Rope for Heart – to raise $1,000.
“Maybe if I go to houses five miles around my house (to ask for pledges) I could get that much,” Quinn said.
“Then I would be happy.”
Sue Austreng is at [email protected]