More than 300 people from across Centre County and beyond gathered on Saturday, Oct. 15 to get some healthy physical activity and support the mission of the American Heart Association. The Central PA Heart Walk at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park in State College, Pa. raised more than $90,500 for the American Heart Association, exceeding their goal of $84,000.
“The past few years have been challenging and events like the Heart Walk remind all of us how important it is to take care of ourselves and how easy it can be to take steps toward living a healthier life,” said Amy Adams, CEO of Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Nittany Valley and chair of the 2022 Central PA Heart Walk. “The event brings together people and organizations from across the region who believe in the mission of the American Heart Association and are doing their part to ensure it can continue its lifesaving work.”
The dedicated group of participants included heart disease survivors and their families, proudly wearing matching homemade t-shirts, commemorative Heart Walk baseball caps and Heart Hero capes, as well as teams from local companies and families. Top teams and walkers were recognized during opening ceremonies, hosted by WTAJ meteorologist Christy Shields. The top fundraising company was Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Nittany Valley and the top community team was StoneStrong. The top individual fundraisers were StoneStrong team captains Mallory and Joshua Devore, raising funds in honor of their son, Stone. Stone was born with a congenital heart defect which required open heart surgery at 1-year-old and another surgery at 3-years-old.
The funds raised at events like the Heart Walk support the American Heart Association’s mission, including advocating for public policy that improves community health, advancing the science of CPR, improving outcomes for heart and stroke patients, and investing in cardiovascular research that has led to life-saving advancements in prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.
The Central PA Heart Walk was sponsored by Geisinger, Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Nittany Valley, Weis Markets, UPMC and UPMC Health Plan, Conemaugh Health System, UPMC Heart & Vascular, Zoll Lifevest and other local businesses.
Supporters in Blair County participated in the event by walking at the same time on the campus of UPMC Altoona. Walkers in Cambria County will have an opportunity to support the Heart Walk campaign on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2022, at Roxbury Park in Johnstown, Pa. Donations toward the Central PA Heart Walk will be accepted through Nov. 15. Visit heart.org/centralpa to learn more and make a donation.