Heart Assoc. preps for Sneaker Gala, Heart Walk

The American Heart Association announced its leadership team for the 2006 Sneaker Gala and 2006 Heart Walk.

Dr. James and Mandy Locher of Rockford will serve as the chairmen of the Fifth Annual Sneaker Gala, scheduled for Feb. 18, 2006, while David Schertz of Byron will serve as chairman of the Northern Illinois Heart Walk, scheduled for April 29, 2006.

Schertz is administrator/chief operating officer of OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center. Dr. Locher is a cardiothoracic surgeon at the Regional Heart Institute at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center. As chairmen, the Lochers and Schertz will manage event activities and supervise volunteer committees. Their responsibilities will include conducting regular strategy meetings, and assisting in the identification and recruitment of industry leaders.

The Sneaker Gala is set for Saturday, Feb. 18, at Giovanni’s Restaurant. The gala is a black-tie affair, featuring elegant surroundings, heart-healthy dining, great music and outstanding auction items. In addition to black ties and ball gowns, sneakers are mandatory.

The Northern Illinois Heart Walk will be Saturday, April 29, at Rock Valley College. The Heart Walk is a fun 1- or 3-mile walk featuring entertainment and health fair activities. Both events raise money for research, public and professional education, and community programs that help fight heart disease and stroke. For more information, call Barb Giolitto at 815-397-5791.

Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death in Winnebago and Boone counties, as well as the nation. Each year, nearly 730 Winnebago County and 100 Boone County residents die of heart disease. More than 170 people in Winnebago County and 15 people in Boone County die each year from stroke.

Since 1924, the American Heart Association has helped protect people of all ages and ethnicities from the ravages of heart disease and stroke. These diseases, the nation’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers, and other cardiovascular diseases, claim nearly 1 million American lives each year. The Association invested more than $439 million in fiscal year 2003-04 for research, professional and public education, and advocacy, so people across America learn what they can do to reduce their risk and live stronger, longer lives.

From the Dec. 21-27, 2005, issue

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