The annual Heart Walk for the American Heart Association in Virginia is a do-it-yourself event this year.
And, as with so many nonprofit benefits in this pandemic year, the Oct. 24 walk is a virtual fundraiser, so you can stay safe at a social distance on a route and at a time of your choice.
The Heart Association says it expects about 1 million participants nationwide. That total as of today includes 1,245 people around metro Richmond who have signed up, according to information from Garrett Johnson, director of communications for the Heart Association office in Glen Allen. There are 287 registered teams in the metro area at this point.
COVID-19 is taking a heavy toll on people with heart disease or those who have had a stroke; they account for about 50% of patients who have been hospitalized with the novel coronavirus. The Heart Association notes that funding from donations helps with COVID-19-related research, getting antiviral drugs for treating coronavirus patients into the pipeline at a faster rate and helping health care workers.
In Richmond, donations so far are at about 64% of the $682,500 goal, at just under $438,000. There’s no registration fee and no required minimum fundraising goal. You can get an activity tracker app, take part in challenges and earn Heart Walk gear. The heart association wants walkers to share their photos on social media with the hashtag #rvaheartwalk. Registration runs through race day.