From left

Community shows heart in annual benefit walk

30th Walk for Hearts draws more than 110 entrants, raises more than $7,400 for Open Heart Society

Organizers of the 30th annual Walk for Hearts credited good advance advertising for pushing participation to more than 110 walker Sunday in Willow Point.

On the other hand, the brilliant, sunny weather may have had something to do with it.

Put on by the Campbell River Open Heart Society, the walk raised $7,436 with more donations still coming in.

“We’ve raised over a quarter-million dollars for cardiac equipment, cardiac nurses’ training and tech courses,” said co-organizer Ed Jarvis, himself a heart surgery survivor. “But our main focus is on patients, especially children and their families who require help traveling for treatment in Victoria.”

Open Heart Society is a Vancouver Island-based organization, originally formed in Victoria. The all-volunteer Campbell River chapter started up 32 years ago, and two years later began hosting the Walk for Hearts.

With Sunday’s contribution, it has now raised more than $295,000, and the number of children and younger participants Sunday indicate that the walk will continue to have a bright future.

“That’s a good turnout. I’m very pleased,” registrar Lois Jarvis said.

Walkers gathered at Willow Point Hall to register before receiving brief instructions and departing the building to hike the seawalk north toward Campbell River. There was no set distance for the walk; rather, participants simply walked for about a half-hour, then turned and returned to the hall for refreshments and a prize draw.

Other than some of the kids’ prizes, which were purchased by the society, all other prizes were donated, including several one-of-a kind, handcrafted items.

The walk was dedicated to the memory of Joyce Campbell, a longtime supporter who died earlier this year.