Photo: Heart Walk Team 2011
With a quick check of the American Heart Association’s Abilene Chapter website, Hardin-Simmons University is ranked in the number two slot. In addition to that ranking, two of the top fundraisers for the Heart Walk event work at HSU. One of them is HSU president, Dr. Lanny Hall; the other is physical therapy professor, Dr. Dennis O’Connell.
In all, 21 walkers participating in HSU’s two teams are gearing up for the fundraiser, benefitting the American Heart Association, to be held at Grover Nelson Park this Saturday, October 6, 2012. However, team members began their work well in advance of the event to raise funds, many of them donating out of their own pockets.
This is the second year for teams from HSU to participate. “This is such a great cause,” says President Lanny Hall. “I am honored to be involved and encourage all who can to support Abilene Heart Walk 2012.” HSU started off with a bang last year, also under Hall’s leadership, as members claimed the trophy for First Team to Reach $1,000. The team also surpassed its goal of $1,500, donating a total $1,913.
Team members walked at their own pace on a paved trail twice around the park, finishing up long before lunch, said 2011 team leader and executive assistant to the president, Vicki House. HSU physical therapy students volunteered to be on hand to take blood pressure and heart rates of all of the walk participants, which they will do again this year.
Randy Perkins, an HSU alum, is serving as one of this year’s Grand Marshalls for the Heart Walk event. Perkins, well known for his work in missions, shared his inspired journey through a heart transplant with students during the May 2012 commencement charge, “God Has Something Greater for You than You Dreamed.”
Perkins served as the pastor for the Missions Ministry at Pioneer Drive Baptist Church for 14 years and is currently serving as missions’ advisor for the church. Perkins graduated from Hardin-Simmons University with a Bachelor of Science degree in religion in 1974 and earned his Master of Arts in religion in 1994 from HSU.
Perkins testifies on the organization’s website, “Thanks to technology with funds provided by the Heart Association, a fourth surgery gave me a new heart with a transplant. I have been blessed to have doctors and nurses experienced in these new technologies that your dollars to the Heart Association have provided.”
Right now, according to Frann Smith, Director of the Abilene Chapter of the American Heart Association, the HSU teams have raised 3,725. Smith says it is not too late to get involved, whether you want to walk, or donate, or both, all you have to do is go to the Abilene chapter webpage at:
Smith says people can still donate with a credit card online, but if someone wants to add to the HSU donation by check or cash, she says to please call her at 325-513-9887 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org with the amount you wish to donate.
The American Heart Association is the largest voluntary health organization working to prevent, treat and defeat heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. These diseases, the Nation’s No.1 and No.3 killers, claim more than 865,000 American lives a year.