Super Hero Students

Students at the Super Heroes dance at River Bend Middle School helped raise funds for the American Heart Association in honor of Sydney Schutte.

The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

This year marks the Schutte family’s fifth year participating in the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk.

The 2009 Quad-City walk will be held at 9 a.m. May 16.

The AHA has meant a lot to Dave and Chris Schutte as their daughter, Sydney, was born with congenital heart disease.

Sydney had an unsuccessful catheterization at three months old and a successful open heart surgery at 31⁄2 months old. Sydney is now 7 years old and continues to have periodic heart check-ups but has no limitations at this point.

“To us, raising money for the American Heart Association is an emotional calling,” said Dave and Chris. “We do this so hopefully in the future other families won’t have to go through what we went through.”

In 2007, the Schuttes began hosting a middle school dance at the River Bend Middle School in Fulton, Ill., to help their fundraising efforts.

This year, the theme for the dance was “Super Heroes.” The students learned that everyone can be a super hero by supporting a worthwhile cause. The dance raised more than $1,200. More than 150 students enjoyed dancing, playing with Sydney and supporting the AHA.

The school district also had jeans weeks and collected donations. The total raised by RBMS this year was more than $2,400.

“It’s amazing to me how my students and colleagues at River Bend Middle School seem to adopt Sydney as one of their own family members,” stated Chris. “It is great to see the students step up for a great cause. I can’t even express in words what this means to me and my family.”

Family, friends and colleagues of the Schuttes have added their support to the fundraising efforts by purchasing T-shirts.

One shirt had a firefighter theme and was designed by Colin Sullivan of Adcraft. Another shirt had a Superman theme and was designed by River Bend Middle School student Nikki Crosthwaite. The shirts were created to show support for Sydney and the AHA.

Last year, through various activities, Sydney’s team of supporters was able to raise more than $5,200 for the AHA. This year, her goal is $5,500.

Those interested in supporting Sydney in this cause can make online donations to the AHA in Sydney’s name at Click the “Find a Participant” link at the left and type in Sydney Schutte. Click on her name and follow the directions.

Checks can be mailed to Sydney’s Heart Walk, C/O Camanche Fire Department, Box 77, Camanche, IA 52730. Checks should be made out to Sydney’s Heart Walk or the American Heart Association.

The Schutte family is grateful to the people and businesses who have assisted their fundraising efforts.

“We truly appreciate everyone’s support,” Dave and Chris said.

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