More than 600 Heart Walk participants and volunteers gathered at Oakledge Park in Burlington on Saturday, September 26, 2015. Families, co-workers and survivors gathered under sunny skies to celebrate the Vermont Heart Walk and raised more than $60,000 to support vital research and education. The top fundraising team was Danform Shoes who raised $3,082. They are the first to win the Heart Walk Cup which is a friendly competition to encourage local teams to support the mission of the American Heart Association.

Heart disease remains the number one killer of Americans, claiming a life every 90 seconds. Stroke is the No. 5 cause of death in the United States, killing more than 129,000 people a year. That’s why Vermont residents are inspired to participate in the Heart Walk each year, many in honor of someone they love who is affected by cardiovascular disease.

The Heart Walk is an American Heart Association celebration to build healthier lives, free from cardiovascular disease and stroke. The event featured free health screenings, health advice from experts, giveaways, a kids’ zone, healthy snacks and a free Subway lunch. Dozens of heart disease and stroke survivors of all ages attended, wearing red “Survivor” caps and “Little Heart Hero” capes.

The American Heart Association uses the funds raised through the Heart Walk to finance cutting-edge scientific research, conduct public and professional educational programs and advocate for public health. In Vermont alone, $700,000 in scientific research is currently funded by the American Heart Association at the University of Vermont.

The Vermont Heart Walk is sponsored nationally by SUBWAY® and locally by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Vermont, Star 92.9, Local 22 and Local 44