Push up challenge at Old Bridge High School raises money for Duchenne muscular dystrophy

OLD BRIDGE — The challenge of 10 pushups was no problem for the Old Bridge High School (OBHS) physical education classes when the students collected $4,500 for JAR of Hope.

The New Jersey based non-profit organization is committed to finding a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a terminal genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness.

The students participated in JAR of Hope’s “Hands on the Floor, Duchennne No More” campaign, a national school push-up challenge on Dec. 19, according to information provided by the Old Bridge School District.

James Raffone, of Manalapan, founded the organization with his wife Karen in 2013, after their son, James Anthony – known as Jamesy – was diagnosed with the rare disease when he was four years old.

Raffone led the teens during all physical education classes in the push up challenge, while teachers collected donations. Each student performed 10 push-ups in honor of Jamesy, including Old Bridge Mayor Owen Henry, according to the statement.

The mayor then declared Dec. 19 as Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Day in the township.

For the challenge, students were asked to visit ShopRite, located inside the school, to make a donation or to give $1 to hang a butterfly in the school’s gymnasium.

“We are so proud to support such a great family and a wonderful cause while bringing awareness to a terrible disease,” OBHS Principal Vincent Sasso said in the statement, adding that the students and staff at OBHS came through in a huge way.

Old Bridge Athletic Director Daniel DiMino thanked the students and staff, who helped raise awareness and funds for JAR of Hope.

The OBHS students have challenged three Middlesex County high schools — East Brunswick, Sayreville and South Brunswick — to top its $4,500 effort. The winner will receive a trophy next fall.

For more information visit jarofhope.org.

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