The cars, trucks, vans and even bicycles poured into the Baseline Trailhead on October 4, 2014. The event taking place was the annual Heart Walk, a 5K that was held in support of the American Heart Association.
This event attracts hundreds, even thousands, of philanthropists, runners and advocates who help raise awareness about heart disease. CF is among this culmination of supporters.
“In the past, I’d say we’ve had about 3,5000 to 5,000 participants, and that’s from major corporations that donate like $35,000, all the way to individuals who do their own fundraising, and every bit counts,” said Chairperson for the American Heart Association, Cory Pool.
Pool is also a member of the CF Board of Trustees, and, according to marionheartwalk.kintera.org, he stood behind the organization that raised the most money out of all other groups, the Jenkins Admin Team for the Jenkins Auto Group.
In total, CF had 10 different groups that banded together to raise funds for the cause. These groups ranged from individuals such as Professor Sarah Satterfield and CF associate Debbie Bowe, who pulled together a team of their own, to previously established groups like Phi Theta Kappa, led by Alan Danuff. According to the CF Communications Center, these groups from CF raised a grand total of over $8,000.
Some people have been doing the event for years, while for others, it was their first time.
The Institute of Cardiovascular Excellence, otherwise known as ICE, eagerly participated at the event for the first time.
“This is our first year, and I expected the turnout to be pretty good,” said Carole McLane, a family practitioner at ICE.
According to americanheart.org, diseases of the heart are the number one killer in America, and stroke is the number four killer. The American Heart Association strongly advocates the education of these diseases to reduce disability and death.
People may volunteer or donate for different reasons, and for Staci McDonough, the Regional Director and coordinator of the event, her reason hits very close to home.
“My family has had heart disease problems for about five generations, so it’s an important cause for me,” said McDonough.
Preventing heart disease is possible due to eating healthier foods, exercising regularly and maintaining an active lifestyle. Exercising for some might mean laborious running, lifting heavy weights or completing endless sets of crunches and other formidable activities, but this is not always the case.
Stepping outside to go for a stroll to perhaps to walk your dog counts as being active. Being active can be fun and can include swimming, hiking, dancing, or participating in sports.
“To stay healthy, I like walking,” said Pool. “I also do fencing. I’ve been doing that for about six months now.”
Being active is only part of the process for combatting heart disease. The American Heart Association is a non-profit organization that collects donations for the cause year-round.
“In total, as of right now, we’ve collected $260,000 in donations,” said Pool. “Once the walk ends, the fundraising for the next year begins.”
People who participated in the Heart Walk ranged from college to high school students, to parents and friends to local businesses to major corporations. There is one thing in common amongst all of them, though: each and every one shares a common value in participating in the community and having an active part in fundraising or raising awareness for the heart disease cause.