Sitting in his car, Jordan Kleckley, a “Little Heart Hero,” leads Saturday’s 2011 Albany Heart Walk at the Veranda on Meredyth Drive. Jordan has undergone three open-heart surgeries before his first birthday Oct. 1.
ALBANY, Ga. — With enthusiasm running high, people at the 2011 Albany Heart Walk Saturday applauded when they heard that at Friday’s count $50,000 had been raised for research to combat heart disease.
“Last year we raised $50,000 and this year our goal is $55,000,” said Kellie Thigpen, regional director of the American Heart and Stroke Associations. “I think we are going to make it.”
About 200 people turned out at 11 a.m. at the Veranda on Meredyth Drive to walk a half-mile and contribute to the cause.
About 10 percent of those wore red T-shirts with “Pray for Jordan” in white letters over, what else, their hearts. Jordan Kleckley, barely a year old, has had three open heart surgeries. He is the Heart Walk’s “Little Heart Hero.”
“I think it is just wonderful that all these people have come out here for the heart walk,” Jordan’s mother Wendy said. “It is wonderful to know that people support the research that might give him a better life.”
Many more people and teams gathered to take part in the walk. As master of ceremonies Ray Knight said, “This is an outstanding event to help raise lifesaving funds for the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association.
“Your fundraising efforts leading up to today truly help save lives by funding critical research, education and important community programs. You also play a very important role in raising awareness for the number one and three killers in the United States, heart disease and stroke.”
Five walkers raised more than $1,000 each. Deborah Sanders topped the list with $5,004. Wendy Kleckley was second with $2,230.
Also raising more than $1,000 were Judd Savelle with $1,675, Tamika Kates with $1,320 and Theresa Williams with $1,256.