FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTFV) Heart disease remains the leading cause of death for Americans, which is part of why the American Heart Association hosts its annual Heart Walk event to raise awareness and funds to cardiovascular efforts.
The 26th edition of the Fairbanks Heart Walk was scheduled this Saturday, May 16th at Veteran's Memorial Park, but has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Fairbanks Heart Walk organizers have rescheduled to August 22nd, in hopes that is enough time to host an event features thousands of local residents. As many other Heart Walks across the nation have gone virtual or have canceled all together, the Fairbanks event has decided to postpone to a later date to keep some of the same traditions as in years past.
"For 25 years, the Heart Walk has just been a staple event for the community," said Lisa Herbert, co-chair of the 2020 Fairbanks Heart Walk. "We could have went virtual, but we thought if we are able to do this event safely, have proper social distancing, and if we are able to move forward, then why not have it be something that the community can kind of come together and just celebrate heart health."
In the meantime, the American Heart Association is still actively engaged in the community leading up to the August event. Although they would be raising money and campaigning regardless, they are emphasizing the importance of heart health during these times.
"Not only are we raising money for the American Heart Association, but the entire process keeps people moving and it brings that health side to the forefront," said Wendie MacNaughton, co-chair for the 2020 Fairbanks Heart Walk along with Herbert. "With all of the COVID stuff happening, it is important to remember to stay active and eat healthy and you'll have these reminders that you're going to get throughout the entire summer."
As of publishing, the 2020 Fairbanks Heart Walk has raised over $85,000 for the American Heart Association.
"Over the years, it has been so great to see some of our long-time donors and volunteers returning year after year, but also, it is great to see them bringing in new people every single year, and new generations," MacNaughton added. "I think last year at the Heart Walk, there was someone that was 98 or 99-years old and baby who was only a few weeks old, we have really watched it grow and flourish in our community."
Donations and registration for the 2020 Fairbanks Heart Walk can be found at fairbanksheartwalk.org.