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This item originally appeared in the February 17, 2005 issue of The Tech Talk.


Staff Reporter

Lincoln Parish and the American Heart Association are taking strides toward finding a cure for heart disease and strokes.

Tech's campus will be home to more than 500 participants Saturday as they make a three-mile trek across campus in hopes of raising money toward their efforts.

"Tech is one of the many companies in Lincoln Parish contacted by the American Heart Association," Ryan Richard, team leader for Tech and logistic chairperson for the walk, said. "We are helping to raise funds by getting students and staff to participate in this year's walk."

Richard, director of development and coordinator of alumni programs, said walkers register at 8 a.m. and the event, which is being held on this campus for the second time, will begin at 9 a.m. Walkers will begin at the Thomas Assembly Center, walk through Centennial Plaza and return to the TAC.

"The Tech family is trying to reach a goal of $40,000," Elizabeth Turnley, chairperson for this year's walk and public relations area coordinator for Healthsouth, said.

Richard said students can participate by purchasing a paper American Heart Association heart from the bookstore or contacting him at the Alumni Center to walk in the event.

"Students have already purchased a lot of hearts, which cost $1," Richards said. "Those who are interested in walking can also register on the day of the event, but we prefer them to call in advance."

Richard said those who have purchased a heart will be included in the drawing that will be held Monday. There are 20 prizes that will be given away, and the top prize winner will get to park in Tech President Dr. Dan Reneau's parking space for a day.

Yet, Turnley said the main goal for the walk is to educate people on heart disease and find a cure.

"We want to promote the American Heart Association and help people be aware of the different aspects of the disease," Turnley said. "It's not just a disease for older people; it affects all age groups, so we're doing this for everyone."

Turnley also said there will be nurses at the walk who will take blood pressure of anyone interested, and there will also be stroke screenings.

"I just want people to become more aware," Turnley said. "It's just a good way to show support for the community and all the people around you."

Many students said they will not only be participating in the walk for those who are suffering from heart disease, but also as prevention for themselves.

"I really want to do this as a symbol of support for others," Amber Flournoy, a participant and an education major, said. "But I also want to do this as a reminder to myself to always exercise and stay healthy so that maybe I can prevent this from happening to me."

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