The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

May 16, 2013

Organizers ambitious in goals for this year’s Heart Walk

Organizers of the Four-State Heart Walk, to be held in September in Joplin, are ambitious: Last year’s event raised about $27,000, while this year they have set a goal of $50,000.

So far, $17,500 has been raised. Among the donors to date: Two students at Nevada High School who put on a fundraiser in February as a class project and brought in $2,500.

The walk will be staged on Sept. 28 on the campus of Missouri Southern State University. The two-mile walk is designed not just to raise money for the American Heart Association but also awareness, according to David Russell, chairman of the planning committee.

“Heart disease, it just touches so many people,” he said. “So folks are really interested in helping out. It’s not hard once they find out about it.”

Russell, who works at Southwest Missouri Bank in Carthage, also has a personal connection.

“Last year I really wanted to get involved in the community, so I called our marketing department to get some suggestions,” he said. “When they mentioned the Heart Walk, it made perfect sense and I was surprised I hadn’t thought of it earlier.”

Earlier last year, Russell, 54, “basically passed out at work one day.”

“I was taken to the hospital and found out I’ve got a fairly minor heart issue,” he said. “I have to take medicine to keep my heart fluttering on a regular basis. It’s an electrical issue. That was pretty scary.”

He wants to create awareness in order to correct misconceptions that heart disease “is a deal where lifestyle choices are at play.”

“While that is true for some people, there are plenty of folks out there that because of the genetic hand they were dealt, they can eat good, they can exercise, and still could have any different heart issues,” he said. “It’s pretty indiscriminate.”

His younger sister was born with a heart valve issue, and several of the 25 committee members have been personally impacted by heart disease.

According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. About 600,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year — that’s 1 in every 4 deaths.

“These things can crop up when they’re little babies, or can crop up and be diagnosed when they’re 10, 25, 50,” Russell said. “Heart disease just doesn’t care.”

Last year, some 400 to 500 people participated in the Four-State Heart Walk, and Russell’s committee is anticipating more this year.

“We’ve started contacting corporate sponsors, companies where people would want to line up teams. It’s going really well,” he said. “Also, in raising awareness, we want to contact folks in outlying communities in Kansas, in Oklahoma, to let them know this is going on and it’s for the entire region.”

Russell said now is the perfect time to look at starting a team, since the event is several months away.

Those who would like to participate or donate may go to

Support event

On June 1, Walgreens is sponsoring a 5K race/walk and a 1K kids’ fun run to support the Four-State Heart Walk. It will start and finish at the 20th and Main streets Walgreens in Joplin. Find details on Facebook: Joplin 5K for AHA presented by Walgreens.


Text Only
Top Stories
  • r041614giregabby.jpg SLIDE SHOW: Teen with cystic fibrosis finds widespread support

    When the Nevada Show Choir performs its spring show on stage, it’s impossible to pick out the student with cystic fibrosis because there are no outward clues.
    Gabby Gire, 18, is just another performer. She sings, she dances, she smiles for the audience.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • 041914 Wedding1_72.jpg VIDEO: Cancer patient walks down aisle in wedding thrown by friends

    A year ago, Schandera Jordan was diagnosed with a rare form cervical cancer. And months after a radical hysterectomy, doctors confirmed the worst: The cancer had spread to her lungs and pancreas.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Enrollment open for Joplin summer school

    Enrollment is now open for the Joplin school district’s summer school session, which will run Wednesday, June 4, though Tuesday, July 1.

    April 19, 2014

  • r041814capbus4.jpg Funding shortfall could hinder public transportation in Southeast Kansas

    For the past two years, Pittsburg State University sophomore Travis Cook has been using public transportation to get to and from his classes. He began using the bus his freshman year, when he didn’t have a vehicle to drive even to the grocery store — which is said to be the case for many who use the service.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bruner denied change of venue for murder trial

    Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a change of venue for a defendant charged with fatally shooting an assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University. The attorney for Jeffrey Bruner claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking a change of venue in Jasper County Circuit Court.

    April 18, 2014

  • Russell family sues city, Joplin police

    Family members of a teenage girl whose suicide a year ago brought them into conflict with police officers and emergency medical technicians are suing the city and the Joplin Police Department. Kevin and Julissa Russell and their son, Brant Russell, are the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court. The action filed on the Russells’ behalf by Kansas City attorney Andrew Protzman names the city, the Police Department and Officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christensen as defendants.

    April 18, 2014

  • Kansas Regents stick with social media policy

    After directing a committee to study a controversial social media policy and make recommended changes, the Kansas Board of Regents appears to not be changing the policy at all. It’s left some in academia baffled by why it appointed the work group in the first place.

    April 18, 2014

  • Britain Easter Pilgri_Cast.jpg SLIDESHOW: Good Friday observances around the world Around the world, Christians are coming together in observance of Good Friday, which they believe was the day Jesus was crucified. Here are some photos from Good Friday commemorations around the world.

    April 18, 2014

  • Missouri House votes to expand sales tax exemptions

    Pizza parlors, doughnut shops and even convenience stores all could be in line for a tax break on the food that they make and sell as a result of a measure moving through the Missouri Legislature.

    April 18, 2014

  • 041714 School safe rooms4_72.jpg Joplin school district readies community safe rooms for storm season

    Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos