UCSF faculty, staff and students are currently organizing teams to participate in the 2009 “Start! San Francisco Heart Walk” to benefit the American Heart Association (AHA).
For the first time this year, the event will take place on two separate days: Friday, Sept. 18, in San Francisco’s Financial District, and Saturday, Sept. 26, in Golden Gate Park. Participants can sign up for either or both of the 3-mile walks.
UCSF has a longstanding relationship with the AHA, which since 1994 has awarded more than $28 million to University researchers, according to Charlotte Payton, senior business developer for the association. Last year alone, a total of 21 UCSF researchers received nearly $2 million, she said.
This year, UCSF has set a Heart Walk fundraising goal of $60,000 and a recruitment goal of 300 walkers. Members of the campus community may create a team or join an existing one, and there is no fee to sign up.
The Heart Walk is the AHA’s largest fundraising event in the San Francisco Bay Area, raising an average of $1.5 million annually to aid in the fight against heart disease and stroke, Payton said.
The event also aims to promote a healthy lifestyle and encourage people to exercise. The AHA, which devotes nearly 40 percent of its annual budget to public health education, currently recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days per week for adults ages 18 to 65.
The Sept. 18 walk will take place from noon to 12-1 p.m. at Justin Herman Plaza at 1 Market St. in San Francisco. The Sept. 26 walk will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Golden Gate Park, across from the Conservatory of Flowers.
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