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BC3 hosts Heart Association Walk

Published: Friday, October 30, 2009

Updated: Saturday, October 31, 2009 00:10

Heart Walk finish line 2009

Tiffany Day / The Cube

BC3 has hosted the Heart Walk since 2006.

More than 600 people showed their support for the American Heart Association's Butler, Marshall and Warrendale Start! Heart Walk at Butler County Community College.

On Saturday, October 10, BC3's Main Campus hosted the 2009 Heart Walk which was a success, according to organizers. Prior to the walk, registration and festivities began at 9 am with an opening ceremony emceed by WPXI Meteorologist, Mike LaPoint. Welcoming the supporters was 2009 Start! Heart Walk Chair Joe Taylor, the General Manager and Vice President of Armstrong Cable.

There was an assembly of different people, including students, faculty, members of the community, and even mascots. Barbra Roth, Director of the American Heart Association of Butler County, said there were Duquesne University students dressed in hearts and Slippery Rock University's mascot, Rocky, walking for the cause.

The Heart Walk began at 10 am. The weather cooperated, with a beautiful day for the event. On this crisp autumn morning, the participants walked through the BC3 campus led by BC3 President, Dr. Nicholas Neupauer.

The trail was a mile and a half long, starting and finishing near Founder's Hall and walkers completed the circuit twice, totaling three miles. There were encouraging signs posted throughout the campus and Boy Scouts with water bottles to motivate the walkers.

Family, friends, and co-workers of heart and stroke survivors walked for the cause to build healthier lives for themselves and their community.

BC3 staff member Karen Grossman said, "I walk for this cause because there were members of my family affected by this disease, including my husband who had a quadruple bypass."

The Walk takes place in October because it is sudden cardiac arrest awareness month. There are many different fundraisers held during October in support of the Association.

Lori Williams said, "To support the Heart Association, our school encourages us to wear jeans on Friday and donate five dollars; we also have hat day for a dollar." Williams, a Center Township Elementary School teacher, believes very strongly in the cause.

BC3's Director of Financial Aid, Juli Louitt, expressed her strong sense of support for the school and the cause.

Each day 2,400 Americans die from a cardiovascular disease, averaging about one death every 37 seconds. Lack of physical activity is a leading risk factor for heart attack and stroke.

CPR, life-extending drugs, bypass surgery, pacemakers, heart-lung machine and surgical techniques to repair heart defects are all important innovations gained from the research, funded by the American Heart Association.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the number one leading cause of death in the United States. These are just some reasons why there are Heart Walks to raise money and awareness. It is the premier fund- raising event for the American Heart Association.

Vicki Hinterberger represented WISR, WBUT, and WLER radio stations and said this was the third year for the Heart Walk at BC3, and the college was the central location in the community.

According to Roth, the Heart Walk started in 2003 in Butler County. The Walk was held in Cranberry for two years before relocating to Butler Memorial Park, then moved to BC3 in 2006.

The Walk is sponsored nationally by Subway, Healthy Choice, and AstraZeneca. Some local sponsors are Heart & Vascular Center of Butler Memorial Hospital, Armstrong Cable, Northwest Savings Bank, St. Jude Medical, C.W. Howard Insurance Agency, ESB Bank, Newhaven Court at Clearview, The Butler Eagle, 97.7 Fm AllHitz, WBUT 1050-AM, and WISR 680-FM, according to Karen Colbert, Regional Director of Communications for the American Heart Association.

Nationwide, more than one million walkers raised over $106 million last year in this event. BC3 was striving to raise more than $100,000 to support the mission of the association. The final details of the amount raised have yet to be determined.

Taylor thanked the supporters and sincerely stated that they are making a difference in the lives of those who have been touched by heart disease and stroke.

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