By TATIANA SHAMS-COSTA
On Sunday Oct. 18, Norwalk Community College participated in the 18th Annual Fairfield County Start! Heart Walk in Sherwood Island State Park, Westport.
The fundraiser, which was organized by the American Heart Association (AHA) was created to increase awareness about heart disease and stroke, to raise funds for research and treatment and to promote a healthier lifestyle. Their goal for this year was $330,000.
NCC was represented at the event by a team coordinated by Jenifer Wood, assistant professor for the early childhood program.
“Our NCC goal was $12,000. Each participant is asked to raise a minimum of $200,” said Wood.
NCC’s team was formed by 19 heart walk captains, including faculty and staff members who were representing clubs, departments, and areas of the college.
Wood also mentioned that 35 people from NCC registered for the walk, but only seven actually participated. However, there could have been more people walking who didn’t register, Wood said.
“NCC was one of our most successful fundraising teams. To date they have 35 members and have raised over $2,000,” said Kristen Welton, Director of marketing and public relations for AHA said, via e-mail.
According to Welton more than 1,200 people registered in total for the walk and 1,000 people were estimated to attend the event, which was an exceptional amount of people despite the bad weather, she said
“To date, the event has raised over $200,000, which includes Internet donations and money donated the day of the walk,” Welton said.
The registration for the Start! Heart Walk started at 9 a.m., and at 9:30 a.m. their media sponsors, Chairman’s and supporters welcomed and thanked all the attendants. The walk started at 10 a.m.
“This is my first walk and I think is a great cause, and is good to raise awareness,” said Rosa Careccia, one of the attendants.
Ellen Emerson, a volunteer for AHA, and also a victim of heart disease, was present at the event enrolling people to become part of AHA’s You’re The Cure Network.
“We are trying to generate awareness and raise support for a healthier life style,” Emerson said.
According to Emerson this advocacy organization tries to affect Connecticut’s legislation on issues such as tobacco restrictions, banning junk food from schools and improving organ donation.
The walk was nationally sponsored by Subway, Healthy Choice, AstraZeneca and locally by the Stamford Hospital. In addition, there were also donors, supporting vendors, volunteers and individuals who participated during the fundraiser.
By TATIANA SHAMS-COSTA