The South Sound Heart and Stroke Walk will take place Saturday, October 6, 2012 at Cheney Stadium at the Tacoma Rainier Facility in Tacoma, WA. The gates open at 8 am and the walk begins at 9:30 am. The event is free, welcomes everybody, and is their largest fundraiser. Those that are interested, do not need to pre-register for the walk, but are encouraged to and can do so by visiting: www.southsoundheartwalk.org. If one does not pre-register, it is recommended to show up at 8 a.m.
Julia Falvey, development director for the Heart Association, commented: “It’s one of our signature events nationally. We are trying to get everyone together. Our purpose is to: 1. Recognize survivors of heart disease and stroke. 2. To encourage people to make healthy lifestyle changes to prevent heart disease and stroke.
The mission statement of the American Heart and American Stroke Association: “By 2020, we want to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20%, while reducing deaths from cardiovascular disease and strokes by 20%.”
Julia discussed event walk details: “It is a 4-mile walk and participants will be able to walk around the warning track (dirt area around the baseball field) and the Scott Pierson Trail. There is also a 1-mile walk for survivors held in the stadium, in which people can walk four laps around the warning track for people that just survived from a surgery or stroke.
There will be vendor booths about heart disease and stroke, some sponsors will have booths with all sorts of information recognizing survivors, and teaching people about heart and stroke prevention.
A VIP area is available for top fundraisers and sponsors, and awards will be handed out after the walk for the top fundraising company. A lot of companies as well as individuals participate in our fundraiser. There will also be someone for a lifestyle change award nominated by themselves or a peer to better their health award, which is sponsored by MultiCare.
Our sponsors for our event include: General Plastics, Columbia Bank, MultiCare, and Union Bank.
There will be post walk festivities at 10:30 am where participants can visit booths before and after the walk. After the awards, we anticipate the event to be done around noon.”
Aaron Artman, chair of the South Sound Heart and Stroke Walk, commented: “The event represents a really great cause to battle heart disease and stroke. I’ve been privy in my role, both young kids and all ages who have benefitted by the funds to help save lives. So, anytime you can put an event like this, I think it’s terrific. Julia and her team has inspired me to officially join as a chair and lead a near record breaking fundraising effort. We have a very ambitious goal to raise more money than in the last 5 to 10 years. Our goal is to raise $240,000 this year.”
Julia discussed the best thing about the event, “The day of the walk, we have a cool kids parade. We get a lot of our survivor children and kick off the walk with a kids parade. It’s really just inspiring seeing babies, toddlers, and young adults that have been affected by heart disease and they are saying, “I’m doing this to help better the cause.”
Julia mentioned how this year’s walk is unique, “The American Heart and Stroke Association had a walk last year that was mainly promoted as the “Heart Walk” and research was also done for stroke since, the money goes to research for heart and stroke, but the walk was never promoted for stroke awareness. We are promoting stroke awareness this year and recognizing survivors of strokes.”
Julia revealed some interesting facts: “Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans and stroke is the number four killer of Americans.”
When asked who she recommended attend the event, Julia replied, “Everybody. Heart disease and stroke affect everyone, for example, a child with congenital heart defect or an adult that lived an unhealthy life, it really does touch everyone’s lives, whether it be by one’s self or a family member.
Aaron commented: “I agree.” Julia commented: “You can pretty much ask anyone if they know anybody that has been affected and the answer is usually yes.”
Julia commented: “I definitely wanna thank Aaron for chairing and hosting at Cheney Stadium.”
For more information please visit: southsoundheartwalk.org, contact Julia via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or via phone at: 253 830-2146. “We’re just excited, it’s a new year and we’ve integrated the stroke awareness. We’re also moving the walk to the new location at Cheney Stadium instead of downtown Tacoma,” Julia concluded.
By: Carly Calabrese, staff for Tacoma.com