Shane Kelly, Staff Writer
This weekend is one of the most popular charity events in central New York will be held right here on the Utica College campus. America’s Greatest Heart Run and Walk will house over 10,000 people who will be participating in the charity event.
UC has hosted the American Heart Association’s America’s Greatest Heart Run and Walk for the last 19 years. The Run and Walk takes months of planning to execute and is a logistics feat for the institution. This year’s event has a goal of raising $1,000,000 for heart disease research and education. As of March 2, the Utica community has raised nearly $600,000.
For those who have not experienced the event, it is a great event not only to witness but to be an active participant. Friday, March 4 the Heart expo will be held in Clarke Athletic Center from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. where several businesses and companies will have booths explaining a little bit about what they do and giving away free gifts.
The Run and walk itself is Saturday morning where the things will kick off around 8 a.m. Team UC participates in the event every year and they are looking strong this year.
“Students, faculty and staff are getting set and ready for this big day,” Sara Abdulaziz, student assistant of team UC, said. “We have about 20 teams formed, presenting their organizations and Utica College. However there are many walkers who participate in the walk even if they don’t have a team just in the support of this great event.”
Team UC does its best to get as many participants as possible for this great event. Utica sends out news to as much of the UC community as possible about the run-walk, in addition to advertising on social media, newspapers, and radio.
As of right now, Team UC has raised a total of $1702.70 for the event. This amount is not final and is going to be updated and announced soon once all sales, money donations and fundraising totals are calculated.
”We basically raised money in all ways possible,” Abdulaziz said. “This year we did the Team UC shirts, which are always a sellout, wristbands, raffle tickets, bottle drive and a pie your coach event.”
This event hits close to home for Abdulaziz.
“I have committed myself to lead and get involved in the honor of many of my family members, who suffered from heart disease,” Abdulaziz said. “In addition to the great honor of participating in such an event, this run will be the last run for our honorary team captain president Todd S. Hutton. For the last 19 years, president Hutton has offered great support and inspiration to us and to this charitable event. Therefore, I think it is time to show Hutton how much I appreciate him as a person and a leader.”
We all know someone who has been affected by this disease. Abdulaziz and team UC encourage students to participate in the walk because it is an event that will bring not only the UC community together; it will bring the local community together as well, all to serve a good cause.
“I would love for students to consider participating or donating to this wonderful cause,” Abdulaziz said. “If they can’t attend the event, a simple donation can truly make a difference in the fight against heart and stroke.”
Even if you are not registered on a team, you can still participate in the event. For more information about the event and how to register you can go to, www. utica.edu/heartrun.