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Time to organize Heart Walk teams

February is Heart Month and the Pike County board of the American Heart Association is gearing up for its annual Heart Walk to benefit the nationwide association dedicated to the prevention and treatment of heart disease and stroke.

Tracy Davis, board chair, said that first on the board’s agenda is signing up teams for the 2010 Heart Walk fundraising campaign.

Teams are the heart of the campaign and the success of the fundraising efforts.

“We have neighborhood teams, church teams, school teams and teams from the business community,” Davis said. “ A team can be as few as two and as many as you want. We don’t have a required number of team members and we don’t ask the teams to raise a certain amount of money. We just appreciate any amount raised.”

Each year, the children at Mothers’ Day Out at First Baptist Church of Troy participate in the Heart Walk campaign.

“It’s very encouraging to see little children involved in the campaign to eliminate heart disease and stroke,” Davis said.

Last year’s campaign raised about $30,000 and Davis said hopes are to equal that this year.

“We haven’t set a fundraising goal for this campaign,” she said.

“With the economy the way it is, we know that money is tight. Of course, if we could raise more than last year that would be great but whatever we raise will go to a very worthy cause.”

The Red Cap Breakfast for local survivors of heart disease and stroke is an annual event of the Pike County board.

This year’s breakfast will be held on Feb. 13 at First Baptist Church.

The large number of survivors who attend is a good indication that the dollars the American Heart Association spends on awareness and prevention education and on research are well spent.

The culminating event of the fundraising campaign will be the annual Pike County Heart Walk from 6 until 8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 18 at Cattleman Park on Highway 231 south of Troy.

The main event of the Heart Walk is the walk, which includes team members, survivors and their families and others who want to see heart disease and stroke toppled from among the top killers of Americans.

There will also be entertainment and health stations were participants can learn more about the prevention of heart disease and stroke and have their blood pressure checked. There will also be heart-healthy snacks available.

“We’ll have several health related booths and often doctors will donate their time to answer questions about heart disease and strokes,” Davis said.

“Complete plans for the Heart Walk will be announced later. But for now, we encourage everyone to join team and join the fight against heart disease.

“We’ll also have packets for each team that include information about fundraising and some really good tips and suggestions on ways to raise funds.”

For more information or to register a team, call Tracy Davis at 334-372-5099.