Heart and stroll: Do-gooders step through Coney to raise money, awareness for heart health • Brooklyn Paper

Heart and stroll: Do-gooders step through Coney to raise money, awareness for heart health

Big-hearted: Participants were all smiles in Cadman Plaza Park during last year’s Brooklyn Heart Walk, a family-friendly fund-raiser that the American Heart Association is restaging on Sept. 16 in Coney Island.
American Heart Association

These folks know that a healthy heart is as easy as a walk in the park!

More than 1,000 do-gooders are expected to flock to MCU Park on Sept. 16 for the American Heart Association’s fourth-annual Brooklyn Heart Walk, which kicks off at 10 am at the Coney Island home of the beloved Brooklyn Cyclones.

Walkers in the family-friendly fund-raiser will stroll through the ballpark and along the Coney Island Riegelmann Boardwalk to promote physical activity as part of a heart-healthy lifestyle, according to an organizer, who said the event will also include free screenings, CPR demonstrations, expert cardiovascular advice, a kids’ zone, giveaways, and good-for-you grub.

“Through education, and with encouragement and our collective spirit, we as a community can take that giant step toward our own heart health while inspiring others to do the same. The 2018 Brooklyn Heart Walk is an opportunity to take that first step,” said Kathy Kauffmann, American Heart Association senior vice president for New York City and Long Island.

Heart disease and stroke are two of the leading health threats to all Americans, according to the association, and many participants walk to support or honor loved ones affected by those conditions, or congenital heart defects.

One such walker will be Cyclones assistant general manager Gary Perone, the event chairman of the 2018 Brooklyn Heart Walk, who plans to step in honor of his father, who died in March 2017 after a long battle with heart disease.

“Heart disease remains the number-one killer of New Yorkers,” Perone said. “Unfortunately, my family and I have been personally affected by it. This cause is very personal to me.”

Perone’s father — also named Gary — underwent triple bypass heart surgery at 49-years-old, survived a massive heart attack years later, and endured multiple operations and treatments after that before succumbing at age 71, he said.

And participating in this year’s walk is a step towards helping people like his dad, and their families, cope with such conditions, according to Perone, who encouraged folks from the borough and beyond to come stride beside him at the event.

“On behalf of my family and the Brooklyn Cyclones, I welcome everyone to join me on Sept. 16 at MCU Park,” he said. “Let’s walk to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Let’s walk for our loved ones.”

The American Heart Association will use the funds raised through the walk to finance scientific research, conduct public and professional education programs, and advocate for public health.

This year’s Brooklyn Heart Walk is sponsored by the Cyclones, the New York Mets Foundation, and the American Heart Association of New York City’s “Life is Why” sponsor, Mount Sinai Heart. And Community News Group, the parent company of this publication, is the 2018 media sponsor.

Fourth-annual Brooklyn Heart Walk at MCU Park (1904 Surf Ave. between W. 16th and W. 17th Streets in Coney Island). Sept. 16; event registration begins at 9 am. Free. Participants who raise a minimum of $100 are eiligible for a t-shirt. For more information, visit www.brooklynheartwalk.org.

Reach James Harney at (718) 260-2529 or e-mail him at jharney@cnglocal.com.
Fired up: Walkers listened to a performance at last year’s event.
American Heart Association

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