Step by step, any community can make a future of healthiness and wellness a reality. That’s exactly what happened on Oct. 7 at Corpus Christi’s 21st annual Coastal Bend Heart Walk.
The Heart Walk is the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association’s main fundraising event towards heart and stroke research, local education programs and health advocacy. By 2020, both associations aim to improve cardiovascular health and reduce the number of lives claimed by heart disease and stroke by twenty percent. Heart disease and stroke are the nation’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers, and the Heart Walk hopes to extinguish that problem and promote a healthy lifestyle. Brittany Sandbach, director of the Corpus Christi Heart Walk, said her duties included organizing volunteers, setting up the event and making sure everything ran smoothly and efficiently.
“We were very happy with the turnout of the event,” Sandbach said. “Even with the recent devastation in our community from Hurricane Harvey, we still had over two thousand people there to raise awareness and funds.”
The event had over 30 sponsors from the Corpus Christi area, including the Island University. Corpus Christi raised over $3,000 for the American Heart Association and The American Stroke Association at this year’s Heart Walk.
Christina Lee, a youth volunteer at the Heart Walk, said although her mother signed her up to volunteer at the event, she was happy to help make a difference.
“I honestly had no idea how many people [in our community] had been affected by heart disease,” Lee said. “I think it’s an understatement to say that our health needs to be a priority. It’s really cool to see so many people that think the same thing and want to see the statistics change.”
With CPR demonstrations, family-friendly games and live entertainment, the three-mile walk brought hundreds together for a day full of health appreciation and awareness. Heart disease survivors received a red cap for participating in the walk. Lee said although this was her first-time volunteering at the event, she expects to participate again and again in the years to come.
“It was actually fun to volunteer and help out, but I think it would have been nice to participate in the walk itself too,” Lee said. “Either way, I can’t wait to come back next year and see how much this event grows. These kinds of events are important to keep doing.”