Thunderstorms, wind, and a cold front did not stop nearly 4,000 Montgomery County residents from walking and running in the 2015 Montgomery County Heart Walk on Saturday, November 7 at Aon – The Woodlands.
The event, sponsored by Aon – The Woodlands, and chaired by Chris Payne, the Executive Vice President and General Manager for Aon – The Woodlands and Jeff Gordon, the Vice President for Kiewit Energy Group, raised $406,000 for the American Heart Association.
“I am proud of all of our sponsors who helped us reach this milestone in the Montgomery County Heart Walk,” said Payne. “It’s significant to note how many people stayed and not only walked but ran the Heart Walk in the rain. That shows how passionate Montgomery County is for heart health and for the American Heart Association’s mission.”
“I am overwhelmed by the support our Heart Walk received this year,” said Gordon. “It’s amazing to watch our community band together to support this amazing cause and organization. I’m proud to say that I will be returning next year as the 2016 Montgomery County Heart Walk chair, and I cannot wait to see how we can explore new goals this coming year.”
Aon – The Woodlands came in as the top fundraising company raising over $65,000, with TETRA Technologies following in second place with $58,532 raised. As Rookie Company of the Year, Newfield Explorations reached well over their goal and raised $25,000 for the fight against cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
The crowd was greeted by the vibrant personality of KTRK-TV, ABC 13’s Rebecca Spera, who joined the Heart Walk as emcee, despite being eight months pregnant. Spera’s energetic and vibrant personality kept the crowds spirits up as they stood with umbrellas in hand listening to every word about the American Heart Association’s mission and impact in the community.
Daisy and Julie from Gold’s Gym – The Woodlands also broke through the rain to empower walkers with a Zumba routine that kept everyone on their toes excited to hit the route.
Unfortunately, the first-ever Kid’s Dash was cancelled because of the weather, but that didn’t stop kids from enjoying their Heart Hero bandana’s and finisher’s medal. Kids also got to take home their very own Teaching Garden plant. The American Heart Association’s Teaching Garden Program helps kids understand the importance of growing their own fruits and vegetables. The Heart Walk’s Teaching Garden was provided by Kiewit Energy Group.
Also honored was Craig Cox from Aon – The Woodlands who was awarded the coveted Lifestyle Change Award for his inspiring and significant weight loss story.
Michael Sanson, a Youth Pastor for Woodland’s Church, and an active AHA volunteer won the first-ever Volunteer of the Year Award. After losing his father in January to a heart attack, Sanson took it upon himself to make sure he was helping the AHA educate others on their risk for heart disease and stroke.
“He and my mom have invested so much over the years in the lives of kids and their families and for me, it’s been a privilege to continue what he’s done,” said Sanson. “It’s been an eye opening opportunity to be able to each and every day continue his legacy.”
The top walkers included Margi Parker who raised $12,135, Chris Payne who personally raised $9,438, and Pat Shea who raised $8,150 in honor of his dad, Jim, who just celebrated his 70th birthday despite having bypass surgery 15 years ago.
The event sponsors included Energy Alloys, Memorial Hermann The Woodlands, Houston Northwest Medical Center, Dr. Mark Mettauer and KPS Cardiovascular Surgery, New Balance The Woodlands, CHI St. Luke’s Health, Texas Children’s Hospital, BB&T Banking Insurance Investments, Repsol, VillaSport Athletic Club and Spa, Physicians ER, Crossfit Consummate, Lone Star Family Health Center, Gold’s Gym, Aon – The Woodlands, TETRA Technologies and Kiewit Energy Group, and Excelerate Energy.
KSBJ Radio, the Woodlands Monocle, and Houston Community Newspapers were the event’s media sponsors.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America’s No.1 and No.5 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke.