Locals walk their hearts out

Faculty, staff and residents of Hammond and the surrounding areas gathered Friday, April 15, for the American Heart Association’s annual Heart Walk to help fight heart disease and other heart-related ailments. The walk itself lasted from 11a.m. to 2 p.m., and participants were asked to sign in at the Pennington Recreational Center. There was a set distance to walk, but most took one to two laps around the southern portion of the campus.

 One group of walkers, nicknamed “Team Hunter,” walked in tribute for five-month old Hunter Thompson. Hunter, son of Lindsay and Lance Thompson, suffers from a rare congenital heart disease called Truncus Arteriosus. Team Hunter consisted of around 10 to 15 friends and family members walking. Mrs. Thompson, who has participated in two other walks already, claimed that helping children with heart problems, much like her son, was her ultimate motivation for participating in this walk. Team Hunter trekked the outskirts of the southern portion of the campus once, before calling it a day.

Dollie Hebert-Crouch, the team leader for Southeastern, gave insight as to why she would participate in the walk.  Unfortunately, Hebert-Crouch was unabvle to walk due to prior engagements.

“My personal motivation and interest in this cause is the fact I have family members who have been taken early in life due to heart disease,” said Hebert-Crouch.  

The walk was also supplemented by a Zumba class, in which people donated money to the heart walk in order to enroll in the class, which was held from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

“The Zumba class will be a ‘donate to participate’ class to support the fundraising initiatives that day,” said Hebert-Crouch.

The ultimate goal for the walk was to raise $10,000, but only $3,752 was raised from the event. Although only roughly a third of the goal was met, several different teams from all around the campus participated. Teams representing colleges, such as the college of business and the college of nursing and health sciences participated, along with a team representing Sims Memorial Library, University Housing and the Thomason Health Center, among others.

Hebert-Crouch also discussed what her agenda would look like if she were to walk.

“If I were going to be here I would walk campus, take part in some of the free screenings and if everything went well participate in the Z-Party class,” said Hebert-Crouch.