Heart Walk set for Saturday

September 28, 1997


Staff Writer

Two types of people will take strides during the fourth annual American Heart Walk - the "haves" and the "have nots."

During the Saturday event, some people will have special red caps on their heads - others will not.

The ones wearing those caps have survived a stroke or heart disease.

"If you're walking without a red cap, you know you've helped the person wearing one," said organizer Kay Hoffman, American Heart Association's western regional director.

This year's walk celebrates the American Heart Association's 50 years of service in Maryland.

Registration is at 8:30 a.m., and the walk starts at 9 a.m.

A two-mile and a five-mile trek are planned, both starting and ending at Municipal Stadium.

So far, about 65 teams have signed up, and walk-ons can register at the stadium, Hoffman said. About 300 participants are expected, she said.


Marian Marshall, Fran Startzman and Mary Jones, of the Kappa chapter of the Beta Sigma Phi sorority, are three who have made the course commitment.

They talked about how their sorority raised money for the heart association years ago with a Heart Fund Dance, a tradition that started in 1965.

Each chapter selected a Heart Princess, and a Heart Queen was crowned at the dance by a heart association representative.

"The Heart Fund Dance was a big social event. They always had a nice band at the Venice Inn," recalled Marshall, of Northern Avenue, who was a Heart Queen.

The sorors said they raised heart funds by selling dance tickets, setting donation canisters around town and selling baked goods.

"It's still one of my favorite causes. Look how far they've come with the research - the bypass, angioplasty and treadmill testing," said Marshall, 61, who retired from IBM.

Fran Startzman, 61, of The Terrace, and Mary Jones, 54, of Linwood Road Extended, said they're walking for something they believe in. They both were Heart Princesses.

"(Heart disease) is in our families - we're very aware of it," Startzman said.

"As nurses, we always promote the American Heart Association and the Cancer Society," said Jones, an occupational health nurse at Mack Trucks.

The yearly walk raises money for technological and drug research, and it is sponsored by Hood Faridi Jones Cardiology PA and Washington County Health Systems Inc.

About $25,000 was raised last year, and this year's goal is $30,000, said American Heart Walk chairperson Jef Bohn.

Why join the walk?

"For exercise, networking, fellowship and to promote heart-healthy living and lifestyles in Washington County," Bohn explained. "And to celebrate the survivors of heart disease and stroke."

The American Heart Association's Western Region office moved to 322 E. Antietam St. in July. It serves six Maryland counties and nine West Virginia counties.

"We're getting the message out about how people can take care of themselves," Hoffman said. "Heart disease is still the No. 1 killer in the country. It's the No. 1 reason for admission into the Washington County Hospital."

For more information about the walk, call 301-739-1022.

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