Maine’s Heart Walk, which is the largest fundraising event for the American Heart Association in Maine, is scheduled for May 16, 2021. The event will be digital celebration preceded by a month of experiences aimed at helping participants improve their heart health.
Mike Simonds, Chief Operating Officer with Unum, has stepped up to lead the 2021 Heart Walk. Simonds and his committee have set a goal to raise $450,000 through corporate donations and walk teams.
“The Maine Heart Walk is a fun and meaningful way to celebrate heart disease and stroke survivors, raise lifesaving funds and encourage physical activity,” said Simonds. “Now, more than ever, we’re all looking for ways to connect with others, stay active and stay encouraged.”
Heart disease and stroke are leading causes of death in Maine. The Association is the world’s leading voluntary organization focused on heart and brain health. Currently, the Association funds over $1.1 million in cardiovascular research at Maine institutions.
“Heart disease is still the number one health threat to women and men. Cardiovascular diseases – which include heart disease and stroke – disproportionately affect people who do not have access to adequate health care, nutritious food, and safe places to be physically active,” said Simonds. “Our goal is to raise awareness and educate others on how to live healthier lives, and to better understand the symptoms of heart attack and stroke.”
The inaugural 2021 Southern Maine Lawyers Have Heart 5K will also take place on May 16th. This digital experience supports Maine’s legal community in understanding its elevated risk of heart disease and stroke. Lawyers Have Heart focuses on educating participants on symptoms and high-risk factors, learning CPR, and balancing a heart-healthy lifestyle with the intense world of a legal professional.
Both events will take place on May 16th with a celebratory kick-off hosted by Channel 8 WMTW’s Kathleen Jordan. The program will include a local heart disease survivor speaker, stroke prevention information, and useful prevention information aimed at inspiring people to improve their heart and brain health.
Members of the Heart Walk Executive Leadership Team include: Michael Bourque, The MEMIC Group; Jeanine Chesley, New England Rehabilitation Hospital; Steve deCastro, Gorham Savings Bank; Lena Hann, Androscoggin Bank; Rob Hatem, Hannaford Supermarkets; David Landry, Spectrum Healthcare Partners; Dr. Douglas Sawyer, Maine Medical Center; Scott Tompkins, Cianbro; Steve Smith, LL Bean; Linda Whitten, AAA Northern New England; and Steve Woods, TideSmart (Promerica Health).
Heart Walk sponsors confirmed to date include: Maine Medical Center, IDEXX, Cianbro, Gorham Savings Bank, LL Bean, MEMIC, New England Rehab Hospital, Promerica Health, Sargent Corp. and Spectrum Healthcare Partners. Media sponsors are Channel 8 WMTW and 101.9 WPOR.
To register for the Heart Walk or the 5K run, visit www.MaineHeartWalk.org. From there, participants can stay up to date by downloading the Heart Walk mobile app and encourage friends and family to join in via e-mail or on social media. On the day of, everyone is encouraged to wear their Heart Walk shirt and post pictures and videos to capture your activity using #MEHeartWalk.