MT. VERNON — Organizers are expecting 400 or more people to take part in this year’s South Central Illinois Heart Walk, which raises money for the American Heart Association.
The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. April 12 at Veterans Memorial Park in Mt. Vernon. Admission is free, but walkers are encouraged to collect donations for the American Heart Association.
Beth Walker, corporate events director for the association, said the walk is her agency’s major fundraiser for this region.
The goal of this year’s event is to raise $105,000, which will go toward research, education and training to combat cardiovascular disease and stroke.
“We’re trying to raise money so we can achieve our mission — saving lives,” Walker said.
The Heart Walk has been a tradition in this area since around 1993. The walkers who attend typically form teams and collect donations in advance of the event.
Also, some of the money raised comes from different companies or groups that serve as sponsors for the various activity booths at the Heart Walk.
For example, this year’s top sponsor, St. Mary’s Good Samaritan, will have a CPR demonstration booth at the walk.
Other activity booths April 12 will include blood pressure screenings, a survivor area, a food tent, a kids zone, a photo area and more.
Walker said the event has many benefits aside from just raising money for the association.
For one thing, the activity booths can be a great source of education for those who attend, she said.
In addition, families can take part in the walk to honor people they know who have been touched by heart disease or stroke, she said.
A portion of the event is also set aside to recognize those who have made a lifestyle change, Walker said.
“It’s so many things culminating in one big celebration,” Walker said.