The American Heart Association is sponsoring American Heart Walk 2002 on Saturday at 8 a.m. to help raise funds for its causes.The event focuses on preventing heart disease and stroke by raising money to support research and heart-healthy lifestyle programs.”The goal of the American Heart Association is to find a cure for heart disease and strokes, and also to provide education. They want to educate people of the danger signs of heart attacks and stokes. A large amount of the American Heart Association’s money goes to educations and research,” said Nancy Gaertner, chairperson for the Walker County American Heart Walk.Participants should meet at Bowers Stadium on the SHSU campus at 7:30 a.m. to register.”Orange Pride will provide entertainment to get everyone pumped up before the walk,” said Gaertner. “Aerobic instructors will lead people in warm-up exercises to get everyone limbered up.”The walk will begin at Bowers Stadium and the route will go through campus and the surrounding area. It is a two-mile loop, then another two miles for a total of four miles, Gaertner said.The walk is open to anyone interested in participating and while there is no fee to enter, walkers will try to get pledges.”People will be in teams, and the teams try to get pledges for the walk,” Gaertner said. “There are two ways money is raised through sponsorship and walkers with pledges.”Local businesses may sponsor the walk and have their business name on a T-shirt.In addition to the walk, there will be blood pressure monitoring and automated external defibrillator demonstrations, Gaertner said.Various campus organizations and departments will have teams participating in the walk, such as the psychology club, the math club, the business department and the criminal justice department, Gaertner said. “It’s incredible how much help we’ve had,” she said. “Some students in Dr. (Rosanne) Keathley’s class are helping as part of a course requirement. Some football players will set up the water stations and pass out water. Other students will help set up the route by putting up markers.”According to the Web site, the American Heart Association is a national voluntary health agency whose mission is to reduce disability and death from cardiovascular diseases and strokes. The American Heart Walk occurs in over 100 Texas cities every year.The American Heart Association was formed in 1924 by six cardiologists who wanted to improve public and medical awareness. The first national fundraiser was launched in February 1949, a year after its public debut during a network radio contest. The American Heart Association has grown rapidly, both nationally and internationally, in size, financial resources and involvements with medical and non-medical volunteers since 1949.For more information about the American Heart Association, visit its Web site at http://www.americanheart.org. For more information about the walk or to be assigned to a team, contact Gaertner at 661-7781.