Kids at Central Cass raise nearly $22,000 for heart challenge

The kids raised money and got to pour icy water on their teachers.

Twins Blake and Abbi Skunes, third-graders at Central Cass, were some of the top fundraisers at the school's Heart Challenge, where students raised nearly $22,000.
Ryan Longnecker / WDAY News

CASSELTON, N.D. — The promise of an icy, cold bath brought dozens of Central Cass Elementary School students together to raise over $20,000 for the American Heart Association's Heart Challenge.

"It was fun doing that," said third-grader Blake Skunes.

Twins Blake and Abbi Skunes were in the the top tier of winners. Together they raised over $600 for kids with sick hearts, part of the $22,000 raised at Central Cass.

"Happy and sad that the kids (with heart issues) have that," said third-grader Abbi Skunes.

The kids all seem to agree that while the whole town has been generous, the Skunes kids had some go to family members.


The kids went over their goal by thousands. For those adults who got iced, it was well worth it.

"It gives you a lot of hope for the future, and they are so caring," said Madalyn Vaudrin, teacher and volunteer project organizer of the Heart Challenge.

Not only did they get to ice their teachers, but the Skunes twins got some pretty awesome T-shirts they can wear at baseball practice in Absaraka, North Dakota, this summer.

"It was really cool when we dumped it on him. He ran all over," Abbi Skunes said.

With such success this spring with the Heart Challenge, the Central Cass Squirrels are going to shoot for a new record next year.

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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