More than 3,000 Akronites gathered at the Stiles Athletics Field House on the University of Akron’s campus Aug. 26 for the 2017 Akron Healthy For Good Heart Walk in hopes to raise money and promote a more healthful Akron community.
Registration for the event started at 8:30 a.m. with opening ceremonies beginning at 9:45 a.m. before the two mile, noncompetitive walk kicked off at 10 a.m. If not walking, participants could also enjoy live entertainment as well as free health screenings.
In addition to all the Heart Walk had to offer, there was also a Kids’ Zone which featured this year's Heart Child Cam Betz, a four-year old survivor of a rare congenital heart defect occurring in only four in one million newborns.
The Healthy For Good movement put on by the American Heart Association visits 305 cities each year to help engage communities in healthier choices and active lifestyles. The Akron Heart Walk is just one successful step in the American Heart Association’s goal to improve cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent and reduce deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke by 20 percent by 2020.
Those in attendance were inspired by this goal.
"I’m walking today because I want everyone to be aware of heart attack risks and emphasize good health and exercise," Said Julie Tasko, who works for the Cleveland Clinic.
Others were walking with specific people in mind.
"My mother and my father," Said Jennifer Grier, who was brought out to the event by the first lady of her church. "My father died of heart disease in 2006."
The Heart Walk was sponsored by Summa Health, The Rubber City Radio Group (WAKR), Cleveland Clinic Akron General, FirstEnergy and Cargill.