America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk Kickoff fundraising goal, Red Cap Ambassadors announced

America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk is off and running!

The American Heart Association hosted a kickoff to the Heart Run & Walk season recently at Daniele’s at Valley View. The event featured walkers, team coaches, survivors, sponsors, and volunteers.

During the event, the AHA announced a fundraising goal of $1 million. Fundraising efforts for the Heart Run & Walk will be led by chairman Jeremy Robinson, senior vice president of customer-relations management at NYCM Insurance, the presenting sponsor of America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk.

“The American Heart Association has achieved incredible things, but heart disease and stroke are still our No. 1 and No. 5 killers,” respectively, Robinson said. “We still face unhealthy lifestyles and social determinants, like poverty and healthy food access, that make it difficult for some to get and stay healthy. Events like America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk can help make our community healthier.”

Other highlights for America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk include the following:

— The Healthy for Good Expo, will be held from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 6 at Utica College. Health and wellness assessment screenings sponsored by Mohawk Valley Health System will take place throughout the expo.

Areas covered will include health-related material, free screenings and wellness information.

— WIBX Heart Radiothon, sponsored by Slocum-Dickson Medical Group, P.L.L.C., will be broadcast on WIBX of Townsquare Media.

The Heart Radiothon will be broadcast from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 6 and from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 7 and streamed online at

— WKTV Heart Telethon, sponsored by Scalzo, Zogby & Wittig Inc., will be broadcast live by WKTV NewsChannel 2 and streamed online at

The telethon will be broadcast live from 7-8 p.m. March 6 on CBS Utica. Volunteers will be taking calls beginning at noon.

The telethon will air from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 7 on WKTV NewsChannel 2.

— The popular Kids Heart Challenge, sponsored by AmeriCU Credit Union, will be held after Heart Weekend. The challenge will be held at 5 p.m. April 17 at Accelerate Sports Complex. The event is an obstacle course for children aged 5-12. Registration will be available online and at Accelerate Sports that evening.

The association also announced this year’s Red Cap survivor ambassadors. Red Cap ambassadors strive to educate and inform people of various cardiovascular diseases through their own personal and inspiring experiences.

— Peter Corigliano — congenital heart defect survivor, Rome

— Kie Cullings — congenital heart defect survivor, Taberg

— Robert Miller — heart disease survivor, pacemaker recipient, New Hartford

Another highlight of the evening was a special recognition for Team Victoria. Members of the team received the Nick Racanelli Torch of Strength Award from the AHA.

The award recognizes a volunteer or staff person within the Founders Affiliate region who exemplifies a commitment to excellence and makes a significant impact on the AHA through leadership and a passion for the mission.

Photo: Celebrating the presentation of the Torch of Strength Award are, from left, Albert Pylinski, Liz Campbell, Dorothy Sperbeck-Cornnell, Theresa Swider, Dan Swider, and Allan Sperbeck-Cornnell.