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Esko fundraises big for Heart Association

Esko physical education teacher Bridget Vesel-Johnson laughs as students duct tape her to the gym wall Wednesday, May 23. The elementary students raised $29,602 for the American Heart Association. Jamie Lund/Pine Journal

The varsity gymnasium was filled with hundreds of wiggly Esko Elementary students waiting to get their piece of duct tape Wednesday, May 23. A teacher was being taped to a wall as high-energy music pumped up the two lines of students stretched from one end of the gym to the other.

"This was their incentive to meet their goal of raising $25,000 for the American Heart Association," physical education teacher Bridget Vesel-Johnson said.

According to Vesel-Johnson, the Esko students raised the third-highest amount for AHA in Minnesota: $29,602.

"They saved 592 lives," she said. They are in the top 100 in the country for lives saved, according to the AHA."