Ellenburg Depot woman holds

"As for being part of my team, there is definitely a sense of pride in what our team was able to accomplish," she added.

And, though Sept. 26 is the date of this year's Heart Walk, it's also a date that has special meaning for Rowe. Her father had a heart attack Sept. 26, 1996. Though he survived and went on to have bypass surgery, it was still a traumatic event for Rowe and her family.

"We lost him in 2001, but we would never have had the chance to see him after his heart attack in the first place if it had not been for the technology available then," said Rowe.

And, so, Rowe continues to walk to raise money for the American Heart Association so research can go on.

"My efforts are not only for my family, my friends, my neighbors, but yours as well," said Rowe. " When I listen or read about the stories of survivors, I hope that I can hear one new survivor year as a result of something I was a part of ... as every dollar raised can be the one that is needed to create a new success story."

The goal of this year's walk is to raise $150,000, according to Faith Osborne Long, regional director for the Northeast affiliate of the American Heart Association.

The current amount raised through pledges and donations has surpassed the $100,000 mark, she said, with the hope momentum will continue to help surpass last year's amount raised of $144,500.

"The biggest growth for the 2009 Heart Walk has been in friends asking friends to come out an d walk with them. We have great support from company based teams - over 120 area companies are supporting Heart Walk teams," said Osborne Long. "But, we also have many family and friends teams who often walk in memory or in honor of someone very important to them in their lives."

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