Later this month, people in McDuffie County will be walking for a better heart. And they will be doing it in honor of a Thomson legend.
The American Heart Association will hold a Heart Walk at Thomson Middle School on Saturday, Feb. 28. The event this year will be dedicated to the late Pinkie Knox, who was a long-time AHA volunteer.
American Heart Association representative Patricia Rinker speaks during Thursday's Rotary Club meeting as Dr. Jacqueline Fincher looks on.
Jason B. Smith
"I've been involved with the Heart Association for 15 years," said Dr. Jacqueline Fincher of McDuffie Medical Associates. "Mrs. Pinkie Knox that we're doing it in honor of is my mentor, and she's the one that drove up in my yard 15 years ago and asked me to be the local medical advisor. She wouldn't leave my yard until I said yes."
Each participant in the walk is asked to raise $10 from 10 different people. Business sponsors like Thomson Plastics are supporting the event as well.
Funds raised by the Heart Walk go to several areas within the AHA. The walk will raise money to help fund research as well as cardiovascular disease and stroke awareness campaigns.
"The Heart Walk is the premiere walk event in our area," Patricia Rinker told the Thomson Rotary Club last Thursday. Ms. Rinker is helping to organize the walk for the local chapter of the AHA.
"It is a unique event that blends the benefits of physical activity, community involvement and personal giving to fight the number one and number three killers which are cardiovascular disease and stroke," Ms. Rinker said.
Another portion of the fundraiser is the Go Red for Women Day on Feb 6. Women can pay $5 to wear red that day. The proceeds will go to the CSRA Heart Walk. According to Ms. Rinker, $0.70 on the dollar raised by local AHA events will come back to serve this area.
The awareness raised by events like the Heart Walk is important to local doctors. According to Dr. Fincher, heart disease and stroke caused more deaths in McDuffie County last year than the next six causes of death combined.
"The mission of the heart association is to decrease death and disability from heart disease and strokes because it's still the number one killer of all Americans, of all citizens of McDuffie County," Dr. Fincher said.
For more information or to get involved in the Heart Walk call the local AHA office at (706) 855-5005.