Walk for Hearts is good for your heart (and everybody’s else’s)

Walking is good for your heart and the annual Walk for Hearts on May 1 is good for everybody’s heart.

The Campbell River Branch of the First Open Heart Society is holding its annual walk at 2 p.m., Sunday, May 1, starting from the Willow Point Hall and making its way along the Sea Walk, returning to the hall by 3 p.m. Registration opens at 1 p.m.

The Walk For Hearts is a fun family affair with refreshments provided and prizes for adults and children can be won by draws after the walk. All children receive a prize.

Participants in the walk either provide a donation or gather pledges from others to raise funds for the event which benefits cardiac patients throughout the North Island and in the Campbell River Hospital. Tax receipts are provided. Some of the proceeds from this year’s walk will be utilized to purchase cardiac equipment for the Campbell River Hospital.

This year the Campbell River branch of the First Open Heart Society is partnering with Strathcona Gardens to present the walk. Musial entertainment will be provided Rich Hagensen and Joanne Banks.

This year’s walk is dedicated to the memory of Cliff Riddoch, a longtime member and devoted member of the society.

A small group of people founded the Campbell River Branch of the First Open Heart Society over 30 years ago. They meet every fourth Wednesday of the month at the Community Centre from September through May. If you would like to make a difference in something worthwhile and participate in an organization which benefits heart families and the community, feel free to join them. For questions and more information about the meetings, phone Ken at 923-3466 or Ed at 287-3096.

The First Open Heart Society is a Vancouver Island cardiac support group with branches in Victoria, Nanaimo, Courtenay as well as Campbell River. Head office in Victoria owns and operates Heart House which is a Bed & Breakfast within walking distance of the Royal Jubilee Hospital for the use and comfort of North Island patients and their families. The Campbell River branch has furnished the “Campbell River Room.”

Since 1990, the Campbell River Branch has donated almost $300,000 for cardiac equipment for the Campbell River Hospital which includes funds for nurses’ and technicians’ education in cardiac courses.

But the branch’s primary function is not to raise money for hospital equipment but to provide support for local heart patients (anyone with a cardiovascular problem) and their families, who are facing or recovering from heart surgery or experiencing any other heart or cardiovascular related problem or procedure. This may come in the form of moral support and/or financial support for people in need of medical treatment in Vancouver or Victoria. Special emphasis is given to families with children facing surgery for heart-related problems at B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver.

The group has one fundraiser per year and does not receive any government funding or grants. Plus they are run completely by volunteers.