James McClendon, Editor-in-Chief
For the last 20 years, Utica College has been connected to America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk. This year the event will be held on the first weekend of March.
The event expo is Friday March 3 in the Clark Athletic Center and will begin at 9 a.m. The main event will be the following day, with the first race beginning at 7:30 a.m.
The Team UC captains are Eileen Blumenauer, Monica Brown-Hodkinson, Elizabeth Caraco, Marissa Finch and Fran Lucia.
“They have been working very hard to provide new fundraising efforts for the team this year and they are having fun doing it,” said Debbie McQueary, the liaison between the college and the Heart Association.
Traditionally with this event an honorary captain is selected, bith this being the 20-year anniversary, Utica College wanted to do something special.
“There are some special celebrations planned for this year,” McQueary said. “This year’s honorary captain is actually a celebration of all of the past honorary captains so we are taking a look back at all of the honorary Team UC captains that we have had in the past.”
Blumenauer, the UC women’s soccer coach, has worked overtime to bring in funds for the event including organizing the annual “Pie Your Coach” event from noon to 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 1.
“Because this is the 20th year, Team UC has been amping up all of our efforts,” Blumenauer said. “Fundraising efforts have been through the roof. The week leading up to the Heart Run and Walk in Strebel Student Center outside of the cafeteria, there will be raffles, t-shirt sales, and the annual ‘Pie your Coach’ event.”
Caraco, coordinator of circulation in the Frank E. Gannett Memorial Library, has been a Utica College employee for almost 30 years.
“I have seen a large increase in the UC community engagement in the local area,” Caraco said. “The Heart Run and Walk is a big part of that. I think that communal behavior makes all of us stronger. I also think that the UC team efforts over the last few years have done a wonderful job involving the general campus community and the student population in the event.”
Finch, the senior area coordinator for North Hall, has a strong connection with the cause behind this event.
“This event is important to me because it symbolizes a community coming together to fight a cause,” Finch said. “I have had family friends in the past who have unfortunately suffered from heart disease or heart complications, as well as my grandma, so it means a lot for me to be able to help raise awareness and fight for the cause.”
This event is important to members of the college community as well as its surrounding communities.
“I think it is important for UC to host an event like this because so many people are affected by it within the UC community and within the Utica community,” Finch said. “For us to bring all these individuals together to help raise awareness and fight for the cause shows the capacity of UC to help bring the community together. UC is very strong when united and I think this event only showcases that.”
The UC team captains want to invite the entire UC community to show support for this event. With a minimum of $30, those interested can be a part of Team UC. For more information about getting involved head to www.utica.edu/heartrun.