The Southern Maine Heart Walk, which is the largest fundraising event for the American Heart Association (AHA) in Maine, is scheduled for May 20th in Portland. In addition to a choice of a 1-mile or 5K walk, the event will also feature a timed 5K run. Dollars raised will fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat heart disease and stroke.
This year’s fundraising efforts are being led by Mike Vail, President of Hannaford Supermarkets. Vail and his committee have set a goal to raise $415,000 through corporate donations and walk teams. Hannaford has had the top fundraising walk team since the event’s inception 18 years ago. Hannaford will provide heart-healthy ingredients and an accompanying recipe for a meal to go for each family who participates in the walk.
“As the leader of Hannaford, I work with teams committed to helping people live healthy lives, both in the ways we go to business and how we support our communities,” said Vail. “The statistics are sobering: every 38 seconds, someone dies from cardiovascular disease which includes heart disease and stroke. The Heart Walk is a great way to gather employees, families and friends to celebrate good heart health and help improve those statistics.”
The event will begin with a celebratory kick-off at 8:30 AM at AAA of Northern New England’s parking lot, hosted by Channel 8 WMTW’s Tracy Sabol and WPOR FM’s Joe Lerman. Activities will include Hands-Only CPR demonstrations, a survivor speaker, stroke prevention information, and educational exhibits aimed at inspiring people to improve their health. The Kids Zone will feature a face painter, balloon artist and juggler. Participants will then embark on a walk or a timed 5K run around Back Cove before coming back to enjoy Subway sandwiches.
Heart defects are the leading birth defect in Maine children. To honor area children who have survived heart defects, MaineHealth/Maine Medical Center will be providing them with special “Heart Hero” capes. Adult heart disease and stroke survivors will wear special red (heart disease) and white (stroke) baseball caps as a testament to the research that saved their lives.
Top corporate sponsors include: Hannaford Supermarkets, Spectrum Healthcare Partners, Maine Medical Center, Martin’s Point Health Care, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, L.L. Bean, IDEXX, New England Rehabilitation Hospital. Media sponsors are The Forecaster, Channel 8 WMTW, and WPOR FM.
Vail’s Executive Leadership Team includes: Robert Hatem, Hannaford Supermarkets; Michael Chamberlain, TD Bank; Jeanine Chesley, New England Rehabilitation Hospital of Portland; Kelly David, Spectrum Healthcare Partners; Christine Haslam, Aetna; Doug Sawyer, Maine Medical Center; Scott Tompkins, PC Construction; and Linda Whitten, AAA of Northern New England; and Rob Donovan, Wells Fargo Advisors.