The Southern Maine Heart Walk, which is the largest fundraising event for the American Heart Association (AHA) in Maine, is scheduled for May 15th in Portland. New this year, the event will feature a chip timed 5K and “Kids Heart Challenge” obstacle course.
The fundraising goal is $290,000 for the event raised through corporate donations and walk teams. 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 three tri-chairs: Bill Caron, President of MaineHealth; Chris Emmons, President and CEO of Gorham Savings Bank; and Robert Moore, President and CEO of Dead River Company.
“The Heart Walk has something for everyone this year with the addition of a 5K and obstacle course for children,” said Bill Caron. “This truly is an event that involves the entire family and helps strengthen the heart health of our community while raising funds for lifesaving research.”
The event will begin with a celebratory kick-off breakfast at AAA of Northern New England’s parking lot. The morning program will include health screenings, guest survivor speakers, a heart-healthy breakfast and lunch, children’s activities and educational exhibits aimed at inspiring people to improve their health. Participants will then embark on a walk or a new chip timed 5K run around Back Cove.
The Kids Heart Challenge, sponsored by Spectrum Medical Group, is an obstacle course for kids ages 5-12 that will take place at 10:30 AM at Preble Street Fields. Registration begins at 8 AM or online in advance at kids.heartwalk.org/southernmaine. A $10 donation per child will be accepted to participate.
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.
Major local sponsors include: Hannaford Supermarkets, the Community Health Sponsor; MaineHealth/Maine Medical Center, the Survivor Caps & Capes Sponsor; Martin’s Point Health Care, the Welcome Home Sponsor; Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, the Lifestyle Change Sponsor; Dead River Company, the Skyline Company Photo Sponsor; and Gorham Savings Bank, the 5K Sponsor. The Heart Walk is presented nationally by SUBWAY restaurants. Media sponsors are The Forecaster, Channel 8 WMTW, and WPOR FM.
For more information and to register on-line for the walk or 5K run, visit SouthernMaineHeartWalk.org. To register for the Kids Heart Challenge, visit kids.heartwalk.org/southernmaine. For all events, you may also call Meredith McNeil at the AHA at (207) 289-2384 or e-mail her at [email protected].