When March rolls around, college basketball takes center stage in a frenzy of playoffs and championships. What is not uppermost in most people’s minds is the hearts inside the chests of those college players, powering their every move.
Simon’s Fund, a nonprofit raising awareness about sudden cardiac arrest and death in youth athletes, teamed up with five local Philadelphia university men’s basketball teams and AED Superstore to donate AED devices to five local youth organizations, calling the campaign AED Madness.
AED Madness kicked off on January 25 as the La Salle Explorers played a local rival, the University of Pennsylvania Quakers. During a media timeout, a video of Coach John Giannini explaining the warning signs of sudden cardiac arrest played for the audience and then they had the opportunity to choose one of four organizations to receive an AED. The Explorers fans chose to donate an AED to the Shane Victorino Boys and Girls Club.
The following night, January 26, the Drexel University Dragons tipped off against the Hofstra University Willie Pride. During halftime, an announcement was made about the contest allowing the audience to choose one of four organizations to receive an AED Device. The Dragons fans chose to donate an AED to Greenfield Elementary.
The University of Pennsylvania Quakers and their fans had the opportunity to help a local organization on February 12 as they tipped off against Cornell University. A video of coach Steve Donahue explaining the warnings of Sudden Cardiac Arrest prefaced an announcement of the competition. Quakers fans elected to donate a device to Northlight Community Center.
On February 22, the Temple Owls had an opportunity to help an organization in North Philadelphia. Before they tipped off against the University of Central Florida, with the help of Simon’s Fund, they chose to donate a device to the Beckett Life Center. After a video of Coach Phil Dunphy explaining the warning signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest played on the big screen, the donation was announced to the audience.
AED Madness closed as the St. Joseph’s University Hawks hosted Simon’s Fund on March 1st during their final home game of the season against the University of Rhode Island. With the help of the Hawks, Simon’s Fund is donating an AED device to the Rizzo PAL Center in the Port Richmond Area of Philadelphia. The Rizzo PAL Center serves 1,500 kids and teens and the donation was announced to the audience after a video of Coach Phil Martelli explaining the warning signs of Sudden Cardiac Arrest played on the big screen.
For any youth organization that does not have an AED, Simon’s Fund and AED Superstore are continuing their partnership to help. GotAED.org is a crowdfunding site started by Simon’s Fund to help organizations start a campaign to raise funds to purchase AEDs. If you know of a youth organization that does not have an AED, please send them to GotAED.org so they can be prepared to protect our kids.