Union College hosts Heart Walk, celebrates National Employee Health and Fitness Day, Wednesday, May 16

As the population of the United States ages, heart disease, already the nation's number one killer, will affect more people. The American Heart Association is working to combat this growing crisis with a 10-year strategic goal of reducing coronary heart disease, stroke and risk by 25 percent in 2010. The annual Heart Walk is one small way to help raise funds and show solidarity with the fight against heart disease. For the eighth year, Union College, in participation with the American Heart Association, is hosting Lincoln's Alternate Day American Heart Walk. Walkers may begin the one-mile walk around campus anytime between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., rain or shine. Following the 15-20 minute walk, light snacks will be provided.

Special guest Lauren Knoff, a six-year-old kindergarten girl born with a heart birth defect, will be a participant at this year's Heart Walk. Each year, 36,000 babies are born with heart defects, the third most fatal form of birth defect. Knoff has survived to be an ambassador for the American Heart Association. She and her schoolmates from Helen Hyatt elementary will lead the walk.

The Heart Walk is just one of several events focusing on wellness for National Employee Health and Fitness day. In the afternoon, Union College employees will team up for games and activities followed by the year-end employee party. Employee health is a priority for the campus; Union College has earned the designation as a Silver Well Workplace Award through WorkWell, the local branch for Wellness Councils of America (WELCOA).

The Heart Walk is free to the public. Donations to the American Heart Association are welcome but not required. To participate, meet under the clock tower at the center of campus (3800 South 48th St., Lincoln).