The Virtual Southern Tier Heart Walk was held Sunday.  Since large groups are still prohibited from gathering together due to COVID-19 it was decided by organizers to hold a "Virtual Walk" where people could walk any time during the day and at any location around our Southern Tier of New York.  Participants were encouraged to walk around their neighborhood, their property or as I did the Vestal Rail Trail using proper social distancing.

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Those who walked were asked to make donations either from themselves or sponsors who pledged money to the American Heart Association.  Money raised, as it has in past years, goes to help in the fight against heart disease and stroke.  Funds are utilized for research, advocacy and education. While it will take a few days for participation totals  to be tabulated it is believed close to one thousand people actively participated.

A steady rain fell throughout the day holding down participant totals.  As of Sunday evening the Southern Tier Heart Walk website showed close to $364,000 had been raised.  The goal for the walk was set at $380,000.  Donations for the walk will be counted through the end of May.  Contributions can be made by going online to:

southerntierheartwalk.org

Those who took part did so for a variety of reasons including in memory of loved ones who had passed away due to heart disease or stroke.  Many also walked in memory of long-time Director of the Southern Tier Heart Walk, Gina Chapman who passed away several months ago.  For a decade she was the face and voice of the Walk.  Her energy, commitment and passion to help others lives on to provide the motivation for countless others. She was universally loved.  May God Bless Gina.