The noncompetitive 5K Start! Heart Walk Saturday, Nov. 21, at Audubon Park will help raise funds for research and education into cardiovascular disease as well as providing information and support activities for participants. Organizers hope to raise $500,000 during the event, which is expected to draw 5,000 people.
The family event features a Kids Zone with the New Orleans Saints Experience, which includes interactive inflatable games and an appearance by Saints mascot Gumbo. The course also includes three "villages," designed to help participants of all ages understand the health benefits of walking. The Create Hope Village allows participants to pay tribute to people who have died of cardiovascular disease and those whose lives have been impacted by heart disease and stroke as well as sharing their experiences. The Inspire Change Village focuses on helping participants make changes that will reduce their risk for heart disease and outlines volunteer opportunities with the American Heart Association. Celebrate Success Village highlights the fundraising efforts of individuals and companies, as well as celebrating those who have made heart-healthy changes in their daily lives.
Registration begins at 9 a.m. at the Newman Bandstand in the park, and the walk begins at 10 a.m. The event is free and open to the public. For more information call 830-2300 or visit www.neworleansheartwalk.org.
Last year, Start! Heart Walks across the country raised more than $106 million for the cause. All funds raised at the New Orleans event will be used within this area. Nationally, the event is sponsored by Subway restaurant, Healthy Choice and AstraZeneca. Local sponsors include Walmart, Northrop Grumman, West Jefferson Medical Center, United Healthcare, Entergy, Tulane Medical Center, Ochsner, Strategic Employment Benefits, Folgers, Cox Communications, Scott Mouledous Construction, Touro, Valero and others.