Wes Leonard Heart Team raises awareness on cardiac arrest

REED CITY — Friday’s night’s home football game with McBain at Reed City was special for many reasons.

It was parents night, but also senior night for the band and football team.

It was also “Just One More Game” night, featuring a fundraiser conducted by Reed City, which included the sell of T-shirts.

The initiative is to support the Wes Leonard Heart Team to help raise awareness, Reed City school officials said, for sudden cardiac arrest and provide a portable Automated External Defibrillators (AED) Machine for Reed City. Reed City has an AED in the high school gym and is trying to get a portable unit.

Wes Leonard was a 16-year-old star athlete from Fennville who died in 2011 on the gym floor shortly after making the winning shot in a basketball game. The story drew national attention.

His mother, Jocelyn Leonard, attended Friday’s game.

“We had our staff at the high school trained by the Wes Leonard Heart Team,” Reed City football coach and principal Monty Price said. “We got CPR certified. We were inspired by the Wes Leonard story and what his mother is doing to raise awareness and impact lives and wanted to join the effort. We think it’s a worthy cause and wanted to make sure we’re doing our part to make a difference.”

T-Shirts were sold and donations were accepted Friday night.

“We’re trying to raise money for two things, No. 1 to take care of our school and provide our district with some of the important technology equipment to help us be prepared for an incident,” Price said. “We want to raise additional funds to donate to the Wes Leonard Heart team so we can impact other schools in Michigan.”