Thousands walk at USM to fight heart disease - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Thousands walk at USM to fight heart disease

About 3,000 people participated in the annual Heart Walk for the American Heart Association Saturday. About 3,000 people participated in the annual Heart Walk for the American Heart Association Saturday.
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

Thousands of South Mississippians gathered at Southern Miss Saturday mornring to help fight heart disease in the Pine Belt. They participated in the 2012 Forrest/Lamar Heart Walk for the American Heart Association.

The event raises funds for heart disease research and increases awarness of the importance of exercise to prevent that disease.

About 3,000 folks took part and they raised about $160,000 dollars.

"The American Heart Association here in Hattiesburg has four events, the Heart Walk being our largest event," said Eve Elias, regional director of the American Heart Association. "We fund education and research in the State of Mississippi and we raised over $450,000 last year, right here in Hattiesburg, which we were able to grant researchers at USM with over $450,000," Elias said.

"I came out last year and I was shocked at how many people were here and how many people were participating and last year, we had about 2,500...2,600 people and it's just growing tremendously fast," said Tony Petro, chairman for the 2012 Forrest/Lamar Heart Walk.

In 2007, 75 walkers took part in the first Hub City Heart Walk. They raised about $41,000.

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