ST. CLOUD - Hundreds of Central Minnesotans were out in force at the Crossroads Mall on Saturday to raise awareness for stroke and heart disease during the St. Cloud Heart Walk.

Heart disease and stroke are the #1 and #4 killers in the United States. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, 8,566 people were hospitalized in Minnesota in 2011 for acute heart attacks.

Tara Lashley is the development director for the St. Cloud American Heart Association, she says the Heart Walk is held to raise awareness on health and heart attack prevention.

"It's really about raising awareness for heart health," Lashley says.

Money raised at the walk will go directly towards heart disease and stroke research. The American Heart Association uses the money to invest in research and public education.

"It's a fundraiser and the money we raise here today goes to the American Heart Association," Lashley says.

Before the walk started, CentraCare was also presented a $108,115 grant from the American Heart Association. The money will go towards improving the system of care for heart attack patients throughout rural Minnesota.

Those unable to attend the event can still make a donation to the cause on the Heart Walk website.


Dan DeBaun, WJON News