Walkers don't miss a beat in raising funds for heart disease

September 25, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

GREENCASTLE, PA. - Thirteen became a lucky number Sunday for more than 500 people participating in Franklin and Fulton counties' Heart Walk, which in its 13th year raised just short of $150,000 for the American Heart Association.

"Last year, we raised $111,000," event organizer Sharon Strike said.

Clear skies and good spirits prevailed on the damp day that brought out young and old to fight heart disease and stroke.

"We've had teams and sponsors who really raised more money than they have before," Strike said, noting that 650 people and 70 teams registered.

"I'm aware many of you are walking in honor of or in memory of a family member or a friend who has been touched by heart disease, vascular disease or stroke," event chairwoman and Wilson College President Lorna Duphiney Edmundson said to the crowd, listing several people she personally was remembering.


The 10-person First National Bank of Mercersburg, Pa., team raised more than $7,000, with each member contributing at least $500.

"That's unprecedented, never happened before," Strike said.

The team hosted raffles and an internal auction, sold red paper hearts to bank customers and wrote letters to businesses, according to member Kathy Eppich of St. Thomas, Pa.

"My father is a heart patient, I'm a heart patient and my great-niece is a heart patient," said Eppich, who is waiting to find out if she will need surgery to correct premature ventricular contractions (extra heartbeats).

The "Red Cap" family wore shirts that said "Walking for Xander's heart" in honor of 21-month-old Xander Green, whose grandparents live in Waynesboro, Pa. The Green family shared its story as the featured speakers.

At 6 weeks old, Xander underwent open-heart surgery to correct four defects and might need another surgery to replace a pulmonary valve.

"We are thankful everyday for the medical advances that made Xander's surgery possible," father Chris Green said.

Lissy Chilcott of Chambersburg, Pa., took her nearly 2-year-old son on the 2.1-mile "bypass" route.

"We carried him because he didn't want to be in the wagon," said Chilcott, who walked with fellow T.B. Wood's employees Jason Neil and Mary Ann Brechbiel.

"It's a thing the family can come out to and do the event together. You can bring your dogs. You can bring your kids," Lisa Timbrook of the M&T Bank team said while chatting with co-worker Julie Hovis of Chambersburg, Pa., after the walk.

"The money goes to a good cause," Timbrook said. "We picked up some new people this year."

The M&T Bank group from the Third Street, Chambersburg, branch raised $1,600, Timbrook and Hovis said.

The team from the certified public accounting offices of Rotz & Stonesifer raised more than $1,700.

"We have probably close to 50 walkers from our office," Lois Rotz said.

In addition to Subway, which is the national Heart Walk sponsor, and T.B. Wood's Inc., the Greencastle event was presented by World Kitchen Inc. and the Barmont-Bryner family.

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