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June 03, 2006 - Heart Walk Raised Thousands of Heart Beats

What: American Heart Association's Heart Walk

Where: The Sculpture Park, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Denver

When: June 3, 2006

Beneficiary: The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association

EMCEE: Ed Greene and Greg Moody of CBS 4

Presenting Sponsor(s): Exempla Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente, Thrive

Gala Chairperson(s): Jeff Selberg

Committee Members: Trish Blake HW Sr.Director, Allison Parker HW Director, Stephanie McClain HW Coordinator, Dorothea Brooks Logistics co-Chair, Anthony Martini Logistics Co-Chair, Mel & Myrna Engbar Registration Chair, David Loya Clean-up Chair, Janelle Beluscak Photography Chair, Nicholas Martini Route Co-Chair, Sue Price Route Co-Chair, Farrah Payne Signage Chair, Ted Baird Expo Chair, Taryn Galow Entertainment Chair, Maggie Jones Volunteer Co-Chair, Laura James Volunteer Co-Chair, Lauren Stroud Volunteer Co-Chair, Brian Stevenson Clown, Lois Hays, Kathleen Adamson

Sponsors: National Sponsor: Subway; Aurora Denver Cardiology, South Denver Cardiology, Centura, PacifiCare, JW Marriott; Entertainment Sponsor: DIRECTV; Red and White Cap Sponsor: University Hospital; Warm-up Sponsor: Curves; Bank Day Sponsor: Wells Fargo; Media Sponsors: CBS4, Kool 105, Willie 92.5 Wide Open Country, Mix 100.3

Attendance: 5,000

Attire: Casual with lots of red

Blacktie Photos by: Chelsea Wyatt

 Jeff Selberg, Chair of the Heart Walk, inspired a Coloradoan youngster to show his muscle!
Jeff Selberg, Chair of the Heart Walk, inspired a Coloradoan youngster to show his muscle!

Chelsea Wyatt

Many have sat anxiously in a waiting room for a loved one that has been a victim of a heart attack or stroke. Many have felt helpless; unsure of what would happen, wishing not to be in that situation in the first place.

On Saturday, June 3rd, over 5,000 Coloradoans got the chance to take the situation into their own hands, empowering themselves to be more heart healthy, and raising money to help reduce death and disability rates from heart disease and strokes.

The 8th Annual Denver Heart Walk was a huge success. The day was a great one to learn something about healthy living from one of the many American Heart Association Heart Walk Sponsors, or just to people watch.

Many entire Coloradoan families came out to support the cause, two-legged and four-legged alike. The group took off from the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Sculpture Park and headed down 15th to swing back around on Platte Street.

There was an option to do either a three-mile walk or a one-mile family fun walk. Before each of the walks, many booths were set up from several sponsors and health-minded companies. Survivors of both heart disease and stroke spoke about their experiences, and the need for the type of research and support that the American Heart Association so dutifully provides. Following this, Curves did a warm-up, and as the Denver Concert Band played and the walkers took to the starting line.

Ed Greene and Greg Moody of CBS4, the media sponsor, were the walk emcees and got the crowd into the spirit, kicking off the annual walk.

The Heart Walk is national walking and fund-raising event conducted by volunteers. The walk benefits both the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association. Companies, churches, neighborhood organizations, families and friends organized walk teams to raise awareness and funds to help fight heart disease and stroke. Many individuals and their families signed up as well. Heart disease survivors were recognized by wearing red caps on the day of the event and stroke survivors were given white caps. The entire community came together to support this critical cause.

Heart disease and stroke are the number one and number three killers in the nation. Research funded by the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association has helped reduce death from these diseases through such discoveries as pacemakers, bypass surgery, CPR, artificial heart valves and blood pressure medication. Funds from the Heart Walk support research, advocacy and education efforts to help win the fight against heart disease and stroke.

Amazingly, for adults over the age of 55, the lifetime risk from stroke is one in six. Each year about 700,000 people have a stroke. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women. Every 20 seconds someone in the United States has a heart attack. The costs to our country, both monetary and emotionally, of these diseases is phenomenal. The average cost for a company with an employee who has a heart attack is $50,000!  Strokes cost the US about $56.8 billion in medical costs and lost productivity in 2005.

The emotional costs to the nation are even graver than these, however, which is why it is so important to support the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association. You can do something to ensure that your loved one is never behind those hospital doors, or if they are, they are receiving the best of care. All you need to do is go for a walk!

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