The American Heart Association is asking for a little help to try and tackle the No. 1 killer in McDuffie County and the United States.
According to the AHA, about 1.2 million Americans will have a first or recurrent coronary attack this year, and about 479,000 will die. The local chapter of the AHA hopes to shrink those numbers with the help of donations for this year's Heart Walk.
"Heart disease is the No. 1 killer, nationally, locally, in McDuffie County," said Patricia Rinker of the local AHA chapter. "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 2007 McDuffie County Heart Walk kick-off party is scheduled for noon on Wednesday, Jan. 3 in the Depot Annex. Ms. Rinker said those interested in starting a team for the walk should come to find out more about the event.
Lunch will be provided during the kick-off, and team leaders will hear about the year's goals. After an AHA video promoting the walk, those in charge of the event will get a chance to plan.
"It's kind of a time to talk about the Heart Walk, why we do it and what it's about," Ms. Rinker said. "Then we let old and new team leaders meet and discuss ideas on fundraising."
This year's Heart Walk is Saturday, Feb. 24. Ms. Rinker said after raising $28,000 last year, the goal was set at $38,000 for 2007. The funds raised go toward research and education, she said.
Participants will take a 3 mile trek through the subdivision behind Thomson Middle. Organizers hope to eclipse the number of 100 who usually participate, not just for monetary reasons. They say the walk also promotes a healthier lifestyle.
For more information on the Heart Walk or the kick-off party, call the local AHA at 706-855-5005 or visit www.mcduffiecountyheartwalk.kintera.org.