The No. 1 killer in McDuffie County and the United States is heart disease. The local chapter of the American Heart Association is hoping for some help in tackling that problem.
The AHA thinks an estimated 1.2 million first or recurrent coronary attacks in the United States - of which approximately 479,000 people will die - is too many.
Educating the public and shrinking those numbers are the goals of all the donations for the 2007 edition of the Heart Walk, which is set for Saturday, Feb. 24, next to Thomson Middle School.
"Heart disease is the No. 1 killer, nationally, locally, in McDuffie County," Patricia Rinker of the local AHA chapter said during an earlier interview. "So we just want to make people aware of that, and we just want them to take part in their community's effort to save lives."
The McDuffie County Heart Walk kick-off party took place on Jan. 3 in the Depot Annex. Folks interested in starting a team for the walk showed up to find out more about the event.
After an AHA video promoting the walk, those in charge got a chance to plan for this year's event. The local AHA chapter provided lunch during the kick-off, and team leaders heard about the year's goals.
Ms. Rinker said after raising $28,000 at the 2006 event, the goal had been set at $38,000 for this year. But there aren't just monetary goals. She added that the walk also promotes a healthier lifestyle.
Participants in the walk will take a three-mile trek through the subdivision behind Thomson Middle. Ms. Rinker said about 100 people usually participate, and organizers hope to increase that number this year.
For more information on the Heart Walk, call the local AHA at 706-855-5005 or visit www.mcduffiecountyheartwalk.kintera.org.