Approximately 254 Panther Valley Middle School students recently participated in the American Heart Association's Hoops for Heart.

The annual event is designed to not only raise funds to help fight heart disease, but to also educate kids on how to care for their hearts and the importance of maintaining a heart-healthy lifestyle through proper nutrition and exercise.

Students solicited donations from friends, family and businesses prior to the event and raised over $2,800, which was $1,300 more than last year.

Seventh-grader Alex Lebo was once again the top moneymaker, raising $200 in memory of his late grandfather, John "Sonny" Kovatch of Nesquehoning.

Sixth-graders Yanitza Figueroa and Hunter Kennedy brought in $150 and $120 respectively.

The students shot hoops and played tournament-style basketball games for the entire day. Health and physical education teacher, Bobbi Sisock coordinated the event again this year.

For their participation in the program, the Panther Valley Middle School earned over $300 for gym equipment.