WATERTOWN — Despite the rain, supporters of lifesaving missions through the American Heart Association gathered in the Jules Center at Jefferson Community College on Saturday ahead of the 2023 North Country Heart Walk.
“There are a lot of emotions. Excitement is one of them,” said Wendy Hinman, 2023 North Country Heart Walk chairperson. “For me, it’s a way to celebrate people around you with heart disease, and all come together for a common cause, whether it’s a loved one, yourself, and raising money for the cause.”
More than 400 attended the event, but many more have supported this year’s event through local fundraising efforts, which total more than $150,000.
“The money is used for groundbreaking scientific research and everything that can help us save lives,” Ms. Hinman said.
Ms. Hinman stated she has a history of supporting the American Heart Association through her connection and feelings as a heart attack survivor and from experiencing heart disease through other family members.
“I think those of us who are passionate about the organization and what it stands for are here, rain or shine,” Ms. Hinman added.
Several teams were formed ahead of the event. One group in particular, Ryan’s Squad, was established for local teenager, heart disease survivor, and Heart Walk Ambassador Ryan Podvin.
Ryan addressed the participants ahead of the walk, saying, “I would like to thank my friends and family who have supported me the past few years. It has been really difficult, but you made it easier.”
A tribute table was featured for Adeline Rose Ormsby, Ellisburg, 2019 Heart Walk Inspirational Honoree, who died two weeks shy of her ninth birthday on Sept. 11, 2022.
Though the 2023 Heart Walk is complete, fundraising efforts continue for research, CPR training, advocacy, and promotion of better health. Those interested in supporting may learn more at www.northcountryheartwalk.org
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