Fund-raising challenge issued for Heart Walk

Office of the President Heart Walk team -- This is one of several University teams raising money for the American Heart Association through the Southern Illinois Start! Heart Walk event. The team includes a leadership core of SIUC Presidential Scholars and Lead SI students from Murphysboro High School. In the front row, from left, are Lindsey Elder, Liz Holden, Keawanna Houston and Hannah Huff from Lead SI-Murphysboro High School, team coordinator Laura Falat, and Cheyenne Jones and Jameelah Rollins, Lead SI-Murphysboro High School. In the back row, from left, are Nathan Wachter, Loran Lueher, Laura Bickens, Jordan Kabat, Darren Bailey, John Davis, executive assistant, University-wide Services, Kristen Atchison, Lee Peck and Todd Epps. (Photo by Andrea Hahn) Download Photo Here

September 17, 2008

Fund-raising challenge issued for Heart Walk

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- There’s nothing like a little competition to get the heart pumping. Add in a two-mile walk and a good cause, and you’ve got an unofficial contest heating up an official fund-raising event.

Here’s the skinny. The Southern Illinois Start! Heart Walk is from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 4 at John A. Logan College in Carterville, beginning in the north parking lot. The event includes a two-mile walk as part of an annual fundraiser for the American Heart Association. The walk itself begins at 10 a.m. Heart-healthy refreshments, vendors and information will be on the grounds during the event.

Southern Illinois University Carbondale fields teams for the Heart Walk every year to help the AHA reach its Heart Walk fundraising goal. This year, that goal is $170,000.

This year, John Davis, executive assistant for University-wide Programs, insists that the SIU Office of the President’s team will raise the most money of all the SIUC teams. The team has a fundraising goal of $5,000 and a team membership goal of 50 members.

As part of his attempt to get his team to the top University fundraiser spot, Davis enlisted the aid of some of the top young scholars here at SIUC. That’s right, he’s called on the Presidential Scholarship winners.

“We want SIUC to raise a substantial part of the overall goal,” Davis said. “The Office of the President is putting together a team, and I felt the best representations of that office are the Presidential Scholars.”

Davis and the Presidential Scholars are also reaching out to members of Lead SI, a program for high school students. Four members from Murphysboro High School are also part of the Office of the President Heart Walk Team.

“I want our team to field one of the biggest groups, and to raise the most money. I mean it, I really want to do this,” Davis said.

His ulterior motive, he explained, is to spark a sense of competition among teams to make fundraising more fun and, quite simply, to inspire teams to raise more money.

Beth Hartke, Heart Walk coordinator, said the annual Heart Walk is a “mission in action.” Not only does the event raise money to fight heart disease, it also encourages an activity -- walking -- that can be part of a healthy lifestyle.

She also said donating has never been easier -- donations may be made online. To donate, go to and click on the “Donate Here” button. Or, to donate under the name of a specific team member, click on “Find a Participant” and search by name. Finding the participant will also lead you to the participant’s team so you can chart the progress they make toward their goal.

And, of course, finding the team will also lead you to another opportunity to donate. For example, to donate to the American Heart Association through a University team such as the Office of the President team, you could search by the name of team member John Davis. When his Web page comes up, you can click on “My Company Page” to go to the SIUC company page. There you will see that, besides the Office of the President team, several other on-campus departments and organizations have teams.

To form a team of your own, or for more information about the Heart Walk event, contact Beth Hartke at 618/983-3234 or at