Sweetwater Heart Walk set for September 14

It's time to lace up those running shoes for a good cause--the 2013 Sweetwater Heart Walk.The event is scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 14 at the Sweetwater Mustang track field. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m., with the walk starting at 9 a.m. The local Heart Walk, a fundraising initiative which supports the American Heart Association (AHA), has been taking place for over 20 years. Two years ago, the walk was changed from its spring schedule to become a fall venue, according to event coordinator Jerrie Gee.As a kick-off to the upcoming Heart Walk, the Sweetwater Business Leaders Breakfast was held at the end of June, which promoted the walk and heart disease awareness. Sweetwater resident Kirk Maberry was the guest speaker and shared his recent cardiovascular health scare.The funds raised through the Sweetwater Heart Walk not only benefit locals like Maberry and recent heart transplant recipient Jim Petrie, 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 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 The Medicine Place, Buzzi Unicem and Shannon Clinic as this year's top sponsors. T-shirt sponsors include Texas National Bank, First Financial Bank, Roscoe State Bank, Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital, Ludlum Measurements, Sweetwater Jaycees, Stanley Ford Sweetwater and Availon.Mile marker sponsors to date are May & Hrbacek, Sweetwater Steel, Steve Mahaffey Construction, NuTone Cleaners/City Janitorial Supply, Sweetwater Spine Clnic, Investment Centers of America/Richard Bowman CPA, Bennett and Associates/Harp Vending, WETS, Morgan Real Estate, Rees Rees and Fuller, State Farm-Richard Fergeson, Hall Law Firm, Law Offices of John Young, and Gil Cherry.While some teams have already been entered from businesses such as Texas National Bank, Ludlum Measurements, First Financial Bank, Sweetwater ISD, it's not too late to get involved in the Heart Walk. Packets can be picked up from Gee at Texas National Bank or on-site Saturday morning, and a donation of $100 will get participants a Heart Walk t-shirt. Balloons can also 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. This year's event will additionally include a jump castle for kids, face painting, a DJ at the event, and overall fun for everyone. For more information on this year's Sweetwater Heart Walk, contact Gee at 325-235-4997.