By Emily Branson / Staff writer

This Saturday, Hutchinson Community College will be hosting the Reno County Heart Walk to raise money for the American Heart Association. The event will begin at 8 a.m. with the walk beginning at 9:15 a.m.

This year, HutchCC raffled off 15 prize baskets, raising $568. All items in the baskets were donated by people on campus.

“The raffle was an awesome idea,” said HutchCC Payroll Specialist Jolene Williamson. “It worked really well for us.”

Activities on Saturday will be for people of all ages to enjoy. This includes face painting and coloring books for kids. 

“We have several activities, a warm-up, and a [disc jockey],” Williamson said. She is a volunteer for the Executive Leadership Team for the Heart Walk. 

“It will be a fun morning. There will be blood-pressure checks, fruit-infused water stations, and people can learn how to do hands-only CPR.”

All money is raised by donation and goes directly to the AHA. Donations will further research on heart disease and help provide CPR modules for high school students as part of their curriculum.

“Last year, the initiative was that all high school students were required to have CPR training before they graduated,” Williamson said. “They were trying to get the modules put into high schools to help students learn CPR. They are continuing with that this year since they cost quite a bit of money.”

One of the most important aspects of the Heart Walk is not only raising money but raising awareness for heart disease. It is important to be aware of the symptoms, such as chest pain or shortness of breath, and the causes of heart disease. 

Some causes of heart disease include high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, and lack of physical activity, according to the American Heart Association,

“Heart disease is not just for old people,” Williamson said. “It can be for anybody. If people can go and get checked out, then they have that prevention and can get it treated ahead of time. You have to know the signs, be aware of them, and pay attention to them.”

Williamson said she encourages all students to come out on Saturday morning wearing their red HutchCC t-shirts given out by marketing this year. 

“Come out and enjoy the morning,” Williamson said. “Participate with your friends, colleagues, your instructors. There will be a one-mile and three-mile walk so you can get in your exercise for the morning. It’s not just for employees and the community, we want the students to be there.”

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