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Heart Walk scheduled in the evening this year

For the first time, the Pike County Heart Walk will be held under the stars and hopes are high that &uot;pennies from heaven&uot; will coming pouring down and make the 2003 campaign the most successful ever.

Jack Norton, chairman of the Pike County Heart Walk campaign, said he is optimistic that the goal of $26,000 will be reached.

&uot;We have a large number of teams participating, but we won't know until Thursday night how successful we have been,&uot; he said. &uot;I believe we will reach our goal, but we don't want to take anything for granted. So, we invite everyone to come out to Cattleman Park at 6 p.m. Thursday and help us reach and, perhaps, surpass our goal.&uot;

Norton said a great night of fun and fundraising is planned.

&uot;The big event will be the Heart Walk and we'll walk outside if the weather permits or, if not, we'll walk inside,&uot; he said. &uot;Either way, we'll walk in an effort to win the fight against the number one killer of Americans - heart disease and stroke.&uot;

The Heart Walk will begin between 6:20 and 6:30 p.m. and will be led by the Red Caps.

&uot;Red Caps are those who have survived heart attacks and strokes,&uot; Norton said. &uot;They are our honored guests and their success stories are the reason we walk.&uot;

Norton said every Red Cap is a reason to be hopeful that one day heart disease and strokes will be a thing of the past.

&uot;The really good thing about the Pike County Heart Walk is that all of the money raised in Pike County stays right here in Alabama,&uot; he said. &uot;Much of the money goes for heart research at Auburn University, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of South Alabama. Other money is used for education so that people can learn about healthy lifestyles that help prevent heart disease and the warning signs so they can get treatment early.&uot;

Booths will be set up for blood pressure checks, cholesterol screenings and body fat analysis. There will be no charge for these services, which will be provided by Edge Regional Medical Center, Pike Internal Medicine and the Troy State University School of Nursing.

&uot;We will also have some great entertainment for everyone to enjoy,&uot; Norton said. &uot;We have three groups of young dancers who will perform during the night and they attract a crowd everywhere they go. We appreciate these young people who come out to support the Heart Walk.

&uot;Subway will provide sandwiches for participants, so all people need to do is come out with their walking shoes on and help us stamp our heart disease.&uot;

Norton said those who are not registered on a team may still participate in the walk.

&uot;You can join a team after you get to Cattleman Park,&uot; he said. &uot;Or you can make up a team. The purpose is to raise money and we need as many people as we can get to walk for heart.&uot;

Every dollar, every dime and every penny counts in the fight against heart disease, Norton said.