KOLD CARES: Two Benson boys raise money to ‘help people ... save lives’

PE teacher proud, setting sights higher

KOLD Cares:Two Benson boys raise money to ‘help people ... save lives’

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Two special kids in Benson really have heart. They were some of the top earners in the state in a challenge to raise money to help save lives.

Tristan Sirois-Smith at Benson Primary had a big goal to raise $2,000. He wound up surpassing it.

In all, he raised $2,525 for the American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge. At just eight years old, that made him No. 1 in the entire state. Every day for a month, he went door-to-door after school with one thing in mind.

“Get money to help people,” he said. “So I could save lives.”

Tristan’s friend Michael Tapia also was hard at work raising money.

“Every little bit helps to save a life,” Michael said.

He says he sent a video to friends and family, and it worked.

“They all donated,” he said.

In the end, he earned $800.

Their PE teacher Amanda Trujillo is so proud they didn’t just raise money to help those battling heart disease. Through the program, they also learned about what it takes to be heart healthy, including staying active.

“'How many minutes a day do you have to exercise to keep your heart healthy?' And they will all yell back, ’60 minutes!'” she said.

Now, as Trujillo gets ready for the next fundraiser, she’s setting her sights even higher for Benson Primary.

“A small school but we’re mighty. We’re just proud of the things that we’ve accomplished and want to accomplish more.”

Another big deal for the school, they just got a national grant from the American Heart Association. Trujillo wrote an essay to apply but never imagined they would be selected. They were. Now the school is getting $1,000 for volleyball equipment.

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