America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk kicks off in the Mohawk Valley

America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk is off and running!

The American Heart Association hosted a kickoff to the Heart Run & Walk season Wednesday night at Daniele’s at Valley View. The event featured walkers, team coaches, survivors, sponsors, volunteers, and more.

During the event, the American Heart Association announced this year’s fundraising goal of $1,000,000. Fundraising efforts for the Heart Run & Walk will be led by chairman Jeremy Robinson, Senior Vice President of Customer Relations Management at NYCM Insurance, the presenting sponsor of America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk.

“The American Heart Association has achieved incredible things, but heart disease and stroke are still our number one and number five killers,” Robinson said. “We still face unhealthy lifestyles and social determinants, like poverty and healthy food access, that make it difficult for some to get and stay healthy. Events like America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk can help make our community healthier. NYCM Insurance is proud to be a part of these transformational efforts.”

Other highlights for America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk include the following:

  • The Healthy for Good Expo, will be held on Friday, March 6th at Utica College. The Expo will be held from 9a.m. – 7p.m. Health & Wellness Assessment Screenings sponsored by Mohawk Valley Health System will take place throughout the Expo.  Areas covered will include health-related material, free screenings and wellness information.
  • WIBX Heart Radiothon, sponsored by Slocum-Dickson Medical Group, P.L.L.C., will be broadcast on WIBX of Townsquare Media. The Heart Radiothon will be broadcast on Friday, March 6th from 6a.m. – 7p.m. and Saturday, March 7th from 6a.m. – 1p.m. and streamed online at
  • WKTV Heart Telethon, sponsored by Scalzo, Zogby & Wittig Inc., will be broadcast live by WKTV NewsChannel 2 and streamed online at The Telethon will be broadcast live on Friday, March 6th from 7p.m. – 8p.m. on CBS Utica. Volunteers will be taking calls beginning at noon. The telethon will air on Saturday, March 7th from 8a.m. – 1p.m. on WKTV NewsChannel 2.
  • The popular Kids Heart Challenge, sponsored by AmeriCU Credit Union, will be held after Heart Weekend. The challenge will be held Friday, April 17th at 5pm at Accelerate Sports Complex. The event is an obstacle course for kids ages 5-12. Registration will be available online and at Accelerate Sports that evening.

The Association also announced this year’s Red Cap survivor ambassadors.  Our Red Cap ambassadors strive to educate and inform people of various cardiovascular diseases through their own personal and inspiring experiences.

Peter Corigliano – congenital heart defect survivor – Rome
Kie Cullings – congenital heart defect survivor – Taberg
Robert Miller – heart disease survivor, pacemaker recipient – New Hartford

Albert Pylinski, Liz Campbell, and Team Victoria members Dorothy Sperbeck Cornnell, Theresa Swider, Dan Swider and Allan Cornnell

Another highlight of the evening was a special recognition for Team Victoria. Members of the team received the Nick Racanelli Torch of Strength Award from the American Heart Association. The award recognizes a volunteer or staff person within the Founders Affiliate region who exemplifies a commitment to excellence and makes a significant impact on the American Heart Association through leadership and a passion for the mission.

Team Victoria started 25 years ago by Theresa and Dan Swider after their daughter Victoria was born with a heart defect. Over the past 25 years, Team Victoria has raised close to $700,000 at America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk and have fulfilled several volunteer roles.

“I’m in awe of this dedication,” said Nick Racanelli, former chairman of the American Heart Association’s Founders Affiliate advisory board and the award’s namesake. “I admire anyone who wants to give back. To me, that truly is the gift of life. We are grateful and love what you do with all our hearts.”

If you are interested in forming a fundraising team or volunteering for the event on Saturday, March 7th, 2020, please contact the American Heart Association at 315.580.3964. You can register for the event at

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