09/29/10 — Heart Walk planned for Saturday in Mount Olive

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Heart Walk planned for Saturday in Mount Olive

By Staff Reports
Published in News on September 29, 2010 1:46 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Peggy Hester can remember a time when she could count on one hand the number of walkers, including herself, in the Mount Olive Area Heart Walk.

The walk, a tradition here since 1971, is now numbered among the most successful in the state. Even during last year's economically troubled times, the walk raised $48,971 -- substantially surpassing its goal of $35,000. The 2008 walk raised more than $33,000.

Twelve teams, totaling 150 to 200 walkers, are expected to participate this Saturday in the 2010 Heart Walk and organizers have set a goal of $50,000. Funds raised benefit the American Heart Association, supporting research and education in the state.

Registration will get under way at 8:30 a.m. at the Mt. Olive Pickle Co., with the three-mile walk starting at 9 a.m. The walk attracts all ages from senior citizens to babies in strollers.

The Heart Walk is especially dear to Mrs. Hester -- she and her mother, the late Polly Waters, who suffered from heart disease at the time, organized the first event in 1971.

"I know my mama is smiling somewhere," she said. "It has been amazing how much this walk has raised in Mount Olive. Mount Olive has been very supportive of this event -- not just Mount Olive, but the entire area. We even have a team from Goldsboro."

Mrs. Hester and Peggy VanVoltenburg are the longtime co-chairpersons for the walk.

"Each individual person has their own reasons for working so hard," Mrs. VanVoltenburg said. "There are so many touched by heart disease and stroke. Each one of us, regardless of who we are, has been touched by it in some form, whether young or old."

"For such a small group of people, they have such a passion for the event and the cause -- the American Heart Association," said Marian Barnhill, corporate relations director for the American Heart Association. "It's really critical dollars for us. It does not go unappreciated or unnoticed."

Teams expected to participate are Mt. Olive Pickle Co., Butterball, Southern Bank, the town of Mount Olive, the Goldsboro Harley Owners Group, Mount Olive First Pentecostal Holiness Church, Northeast Original Free Will Baptist Church, Carver High School Alumni and Friends Association, Mended Hearts, North Carolina Community Federal Credit Union, Walmart of Mount Olive and Brocks Chapel Pentecostal Holiness Church.

For more information contact Mrs. VanVoltenburg at 919-581-3604 or Mrs. Hester at 919-658-3081.