The Southern Maine Heart Walk, which is the largest fundraising event for the American Heart Association (AHA) in Maine, is scheduled for May 21st in Portland. In addition to a choice of a 1-mile or 5K walk, the event will also feature a 5K run and “Kids Heart Challenge” obstacle course.
This year’s fundraising efforts are being led by David Landry, CEO of Spectrum Medical Group, and the 2017 Heart Walk Chair. “The Heart Walk is a great way to gather employees, families and friends to celebrate good heart health,” said Landry. “But, it’s so much more than a walk. It’s a way to support lifesaving medical research and to make our community healthy for good through education and learning how to live a healthier lifestyle.”
The event will begin with a celebratory kick-off breakfast at 8 AM at AAA of Northern New England’s parking lot, hosted by Channel 8 WMTW’s Tracy Sabol and WPOR FM’s Adam Rondeau. 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 timed 5K run around Back Cove.
The fundraising goal is $365,000 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.
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/Portland_ME_Free
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; IDEXX, The Dog District 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; Hood Simply Smart Milk, Life is Why Selfie Station Sponsor; Wells Fargo, the 5K Sponsor; WEX, Pulse on Portland Sponsor; and New England Rehabilitation Hospital, FAST 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 at no charge or to make a $10 donation to participate, visit kids.heartwalk.org/portland_me_free. For all events, you may also call Meredith McNeil at the AHA at (207) 289-2384 or e-mail her at [email protected].