Last updated: August 26. 2013 8:44PM - 188 Views

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It’s time to lace up your walking shoes and take to the track in support of heart health for this year’s American Heart Association’s Start! Heart Walk at State Fair Community College.

The three-mile walk, with registration at 9 a.m. and a start time of 10 a.m. in the Fred E. Davis Multipurpose Center, is meant to raise awareness and funds in support of heart disease and stroke research and prevention. This year’s event holds special meaning for event chairman Sonny Broyles and his co-workers at Preuitt Insurance.

Brenda Corbett, an insurance agent with Preuitt, said employees were inspired to participate in support of Broyles, who suffered a stroke in 2010 and underwent corrective surgeries and therapy through May of 2011.

“Sonny hadn’t had any problems. He just came out of Walmart one day and collapsed,” Corbett said. “He is well aware that if it was not for the advancements that come from donations raised through events like this, his life might not have been saved.”

Along with the experiences of her co-worker, Corbett said she became involved with the walk three years ago in honor of her 16-year-old granddaughter, Caitlyn Tanner, who has had multiple heart surgeries since infancy.

“She will turn 17 two days after the walk and that is definitely a reason to celebrate,” Corbett said.

There is no cost for registration, though organizers will be selling red heart pins for $1, which participants may wear if they are walking in honor of a friend or loved one. Other monetary donations will also be accepted, Corbett said.

“There is no cost and since it is inside, weather won’t be an issue,” Corbett said. “The main goal is really just to raise awareness.”

With 34 percent of Pettis County residents affected by heart disease and strokes the number one and number three causes of death in America, Corbett said it is important to educate the public about the risks.

“Plus we are getting people out walking and being active, so this seems like a good way to do that,” she said.

In addition to the walk, organizers will have a Kid Zone that includes a bounce house, a balloon artist, and a temporary tattoo artist. Food will be provided through Bing’s Grocery Store and Subway and Interstate Studios will take team pictures. Heart disease and stroke survivors may also receive a free red hat and are encouraged to share their stories.

“If you are a survivor, come and get a red hat and walk with us,” Corbett said. “We love to hear their stories and hopefully they will spark some interest for people who want to be involved next year.”

For more information, call Preuitt Insurance at 826-6262.

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