More than 400 participants gathered at Clipper Magazine Stadium in Lancaster on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 25 for the annual Lancaster Heart Walk. The event raised close to $115,000 for the American Heart Association, the leading voluntary health organization focused on heart and brain health for all, while promoting physical and mental health through healthy habits.
The event saw fewer participants than in previous years, but those that did participate were excited to have the opportunity to gather in-person again after the Heart Walk was held virtually in 2020. The dedicated group of participants included heart disease survivors and their families, proudly wearing their commemorative Heart Walk baseball caps and Heart Hero capes, as well as local company teams. The teams from Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, Fulton Bank and Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories lead as the top fundraising companies.
“Each and every one of our walkers has a reason why they come out to the Heart Walk every year and support the American Heart Association,” said Kristen Masengarb, executive director for the American Heart Association Lancaster/Lebanon division. “Some are honoring a loved one who has passed. Some are celebrating with a friend or family member who is fighting heart disease and stroke. Some are simply striving to live a longer, healthier life. Their support is helping the American Heart Association continue its nearly 100-year legacy of saving and improving lives.”
Participant Terrie Byrd began supporting in the Lancaster Heart Walk seven years ago. This year, Terrie raised more than $6,800, earning her the “top walker” title for raising the most of any individual participant. Her team, Lancaster General Health Cass’s Heart Throbs, also earned topped the team fundraising leaderboard with $7,619 raised.
“This particular cause is dear to me because of a strong family history of heart disease,” said Terrie. “I enjoy being a learning source for family and friends. It’s a great feeling to give back for such an important cause. I can’t wait to see what we can raise next year!”
After a brief opening ceremony, walkers took off on a 1.5-mile loop walk around Clipper Magazine Stadium. Supporters who were unable to attend the Heart Walk in person were encouraged to walk on their own path. The American Heart Association encourages anyone who wishes to support the Heart Walk, but was unable to attend the event in person, to walk where they are and share their walk on social media using #LancasterHeartWalk.
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 Lancaster Heart Walk was sponsored by Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, with additional support from UPMC, WellSpan Health, Fulton Bank, PSECU, Orthopedic Associates of Lancaster, Penn State Health, Woodstream Corporation, Frey Lutz and First National Bank.
Donations to help the American Heart Association reach its $157,500 goal for the Lancaster Heart Walk will be accepted through Oct. 25, 2021. Visit heart.org/lancasterwalk to learn more and make a donation.
Communications Director for the American Heart Association in Central Pennsylvania, including Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, York, State College, Altoona and Johnstown.