New College is participating in the virtual 2020 Suncoast Heart Walk on Dec. 12 to raise money for the American Heart Association (AHA). While fundraising is the goal of the event, students are encouraged to participate regardless of their ability to contribute.
“We’re not pushing the fundraising part,” Lisa Bolduc, office manager for Student Activities and Campus Engagement (SAuCE), said. “I mean, the fundraising is actually the whole point of the thing, but to get students involved we really wanted to make it a little less stressful for them.”
Bolduc recruited third-year Daria Paulis to organize the student team. Paulis decided to get involved because she is close with many people who have heart disease and recognizes the importance of long-term health.
“[Heart disease] is something that we tend to forget about and it’s something that you’re so much more likely to develop when you’re younger, depending on what your lifestyle choices are,” Paulis said. “I think it’s important for people our age to be informed about it, because at the end of the day, the choices you make now are going to affect you 10-15 years from now when it comes to your health.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, with an average of over 600,000 deaths per year.
When walkers sign up for the walk, they can contribute money out of pocket. They also get a link to share on social media to solicit donations from friends and family. According to New College’s page on the AHA website, 42 walkers have signed up on five different teams. Just over three-quarters of the college-wide funding goal of $1,000 has been achieved so far.
On Dec. 12, participants can post photos to the Facebook event page or post to other social media networks with the hashtag #NCFHeartWalk. There will also be goodie bag prizes for the top fundraiser and pet photo as well as a giveaway for faculty, staff, students and alumni.
“Now, it’s very easy for people to just sit around and not do anything and this is a good excuse to get people out and about,” Paulis said.