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"Heart of a Panther" campaign seeks donations for student athlete cardiac screenings

Batesburg-Leesville, SC - Last Fall, following the death of a student athlete in a neighboring district, Lexington County School District Three created the “Heart of a Panther” campaign to help provide cardiac screenings for Lexington Three’s student athletes.

Through this program, student athletes at B-L Middle and High Schools have the opportunity to go through special screenings for Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy (HCM), which is a common cause of sudden cardiac arrest in young athletes, according to The American Heart Association. The screenings are conducted at the schools by Providence Health. The fundraising goal for the campaign is $20,000, as each screening costs $50. There are approximately 400 student athletes in Lexington School District Three and while parents are encouraged to pay for their child’s screening, the donations are used to pay for the screenings of those students whose families cannot afford them.

During the 2016-2017 school year, 306 Lexington Three student athletes were screened, costing the district $15,300. While $11,850 in donations were collected, there was a shortfall of $3,450. So far this school year, there has already been one scheduled “Heart of a Panther” screening and more are planned.

"As with all we do, our community has been most supportive of our "Heart of a Panther” campaign. If this effort allows us to save the life of just one student, then the entire campaign will have been a success," said Dr. Randall Gary, Superintendent of Lexington School District Three.

The “Heart of a Panther” campaign is accepting donations from local businesses, individuals, churches, and civic organizations to help pay for the cardiac screenings of the district’s athletes. Donations may be made by check (made payable to “Lexington County School District Three”) and sent to 338 West Columbia Avenue, Batesburg-Leesville, SC 29006. Please write “Heart of a Panther Campaign" on the memo line. Donations are greatly appreciated and are tax deductible.

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