Handball for Healthy Hearts 24 Hour Marathon

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The Fred Lewis Foundation in partnership with the American Heart Association undertook a mega-event at the Tucson Racquet Club on May 3 and 4, 2013. The event was called Handball for Healthy Hearts. The purpose of the event was to raise money for both organizations and make people aware of how exercise and good nutrition can help prevent heart disease.

Over 50 players ranging in age from 10 to 78 participated in the event. Beginning at 5PM on May 3 and ending at 5PM on May 4, a set of participants entered the exhibition court every hour on the hour to play either singles or doubles. They received monetary pledges in support of their efforts from various donors.

American Heart Association representatives were on hand to help jump start the event by providing t-shirts and wrist bands for the participants. In addition they gave a presentation to all of the kids in attendance on healthy heart practices. They spoke about how blood circulates throughout the body and what happens as it transfers from chamber to chamber within the heart itself. A demonstration was given on how to apply CPR to a person in need. Afterwards all the kids were given free blood pressure screenings. Needless to say there appears to be very little stress bottled up inside these kids.

Foundation Advisory Board Member Jeremy Sharpe was instrumental in having television station KOLD Channel 13 cover the event. Their cameraman did a live feed for their 10PM newscast. (See video).

Many thanks to all who participated, especially a group led by Head Coach Abraham Montijo. The group included coaches Richie Estrella, Angel Estrella, Luis Estrella, Fonzie Romero, Jose Maldonado Sr. as well as Benette Valdillez, John Henry Beckman and Jeremy Sharpe. They very ably covered the Midnight to 5AM time slots. Montijo set an unofficial world record by scoring 161 points against an unnamed opponent in a one hour time period. Although the group suffered from sleep deprivation, after taking Sunday off they were back on the courts for Monday evening practice.

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