16th  Annual DEBORAH Heart Challenge and Art Competition at Pemberton Township High School

It’s that time of year again—the eagerly anticipated 16th Annual DEBORAH Heart Challenge and Art Competition once again hits the stage at Pemberton Township High School on Sunday, February 23.

Nine area high schools -- Pemberton Township, Shawnee, Cherokee, Seneca, Lenape, Maple Shade, Moorestown Friends, Cherry Hill High School West, and Northern Burlington Regional High School – will battle it out trying to claim victory. 

More than bragging rights are at stake. The students are also competing for more than $5,000 in prize money, and top honors in a more-than-decade-long competition that holds as much prestige for academically-oriented students as the Superbowl does for football. 

The 16th Annual DEBORAH Heart Challenge and Art Competition kicks off this year on Sunday afternoon, February 23 in the Pemberton Township High School auditorium, where the best and brightest students compete in one of the only academic decathlon-type events in the area.

The Heart Challenge is a unique academic competition that sets the standard for intellectual prowess. The 90-minute competition, emceed by CBS3 Eyewitness News Anchor and “Talk Philly” co-host Pat Ciarrocchi tests its participants on their knowledge of the heart, lungs, and vascular systems – Deborah Heart and Lung Center’s three specialty services.

A distinguished panel of Deborah physicians will quiz the contestants first in an introductory rapid-fire round, followed by an individual question round, then a team question round, ending with a ten-minute rapid-fire round done “Jeopardy-style” with fast fingers on the buzzers.

Along with the Heart Challenge itself is a companion juried Art Competition that showcases imaginative, multi-dimensional, and multi-media artwork created by students of the participating schools. These creative entries were judged this year by professional artists from such distinguished cultural facilities as the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and the Perkins Center for the Arts. All entries were judged in one of two categories: two-dimensional (paintings, drawings, prints) and three-dimensional (ceramics, crafts, sculpture). The Art Competition winners, who also share in the prize purse, are announced during the Heart Challenge. In addition, new to the event this year, is a computerized art t-shirt design contest.

The event, which is free to the public, is co-hosted by both the Pemberton Township Schools and Deborah Heart and Lung Center, who partnered more than fifteen years ago and launched the event in celebration of National Heart Month. The rigorous contest has grown and is now one of South Jersey’s premier academic competitions.

The event has drawn distinguished sponsors from throughout the area including generous support from presenting sponsor McGraw-Hill Publishing, with additional support from Liberty Bell Bank, Burlington County Times, the Lenape Regional High School District, BlueSpire Strategic Marketing, Boyd’s Pharmacy, Pemberton Township Lions Club, AAA Mid Atlantic and VFW Post 7677, Medford, NJ.

The doors open at 1:30 p.m. in the Pemberton Township High School auditorium lobby, where visitors can preview the art exhibit and enjoy a free catered buffet and entertainment. The Heart Challenge competition begins promptly at 3:00 p.m. The event is taped for subsequent television airing on local cable educational access channels. For more information, call 1-800-555-1990. For directions, visit www.deborah.org. In the event of inclement weather the day of the event, cancellation information will be posted on the web site listed.