The children of a Torrance man in need of a heart transplant and their classmates at Hickory and Madrona Middle schools will hold a three-week candy drive beginning Tuesday to help raise $60,000 for the man's operation.

George Happe, 35, was diagnosed in 1977 as having restrictive cardiomyopathy, a disease that enlarges the heart. Doctors had hoped medication and a pacemaker would remedy his condition. But last fall, Happe's heart began deteriorating and doctors said a transplant was necessary.

Happe is on a list of potential heart recipients at UCLA Medical Center, but he must have at least $50,000 when a heart becomes available or the heart will go to the next person on the list.

The PTAs of both schools are also planning car washes and a fund-raising dinner. A checking account has been set up for contributions. Donations can be sent to George Happe Heart Fund, 2800 227th Street, Torrance 90505.

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