Sweetwater Heart Walk 2011

It's time to lace up those running shoes for a good cause--the 2011 Sweetwater Heart Walk.The event is scheduled to take place on Saturday, October 8 at the Sweetwater Mustang track field. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m., with the walk starting at 9 a.m. Participants can walk on the track or a route on the streets will be mapped out.The local Heart Walk, a fundraising initiative which supports the American Heart Association (AHA), has been taking place for over 20 years. Usually held in the spring, event coordinator Jerrie Gee stated that this year's walk was moved to the fall.Another change noted was that there will not be a 5K run with this year's Heart Walk. The run actually took place this past March, the Rattlesnake 5K Run, in conjunction with the Sweetwater Jaycees World's Largest Rattlesnake Round-Up. According to Ms. Gee, the event was a success and will continue next year.Other events leading up to the Heart Walk were the first Wear Red Luncheon hosted by the Nolan County AHA Board in February--which will become an annual event, as well as an informative breakfast held in August to promote the walk and heart disease awareness. Both venues had public speakers who had been affected by the cardiovascular diseases. Susan Hash of Abilene spoke at the luncheon as a cardiac survivor; Scott Lambert of Sweetwater told guests how his son Zane was born with a heart problem and had heart surgery at nine days old.The funds raised through the Sweetwater Heart Walk not only benefit locals like Ms. Hash and Mr. Lambert's family, but 90% of the money is used for nation-wide research with the AHA. "The research has made tremendous strides to help make a difference in the lives of people with heart disease," said Ms. Gee. This year's local monetary goal stands at $25,000.Many local organizations have already stepped up to the plate to become corporate sponsors, with Buzzi Unicem as this year's top sponsor. T-shirt sponsors are: Texas National Bank, First Financial Bank, Roscoe State Bank, Rolling Plains Rural Health Clinic, Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital, Ludlum Measurements, Big Country Electric Co-op, Sweetwater Jaycees, Lawrence Management and Stanley Ford Sweetwater.Mile marker sponsors are May & Hrbacek, Sweetwater Steel, Steve Mahaffey Construction, NuTone Cleaners/City Janitorial Supply, Sweetwater Spine Clnic, Cox Jewelers, Investment Centers of America/Richard Bowman CPA, Bennett and Associates/Harp Vending and WETS.And it's not too late to get involved in the Heart Walk. Packets can be picked up from Ms. Gee at Texas National Bank or on-site Saturday morning. A donation of $100 will also get participants a Heart Walk t-shirt.Also, balloons can be purchased for $5 in honor of or in memory of a loved one lost or a survivor of heart disease. They will be sold at Texas National Bank, First Financial Bank and at the Heart Walk and will be released at the end of the Walk. For more information on this year's Sweetwater Heart Walk, contact Ms. Gee at 325-235-4997.