SARASOTA -- The 2014 Sarasota/Manatee Heart Walk raised more than $160,000 in a soggy fundraiser Saturday at Payne Park.
"It was a success despite the rain," said lily Reisman, communications director for the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association Tampa Bay in a news release. "We estimated to have almost 1,000 people in attendance at this family and dog friendly event."
The $163,903 generated will increase as community members continue to donate over the next week, Reisman said.
Jason Koczman, Shawna Giles and Dr. John Moor won the Fittest Physician Challenge. Koczman, Giles and Moor all work at Advanced
SportsMedicine Center of Sarasota, but were part of the Sarasota Memorial Hospital walk team.
The American Heart Association is the largest voluntary health organization working to prevent, treat and defeat heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. These diseases, the nation's No. 1 and No. 4 killers, respectively, claim more than 813,804 American lives a year.
Proceeds go toward heart disease and stroke research, education and community programs and advocacy efforts.
The program was emceed by Scott Dennis from ABC 7, with a special performance by the Riverview High School cheerleaders.
It also included a fittest physician challenge, festival area with vendors, face painting, free Subway sandwiches, live music from 92.1 The Coast and 1-and 3-mile walk routes.
A live ticker with the most up-to-date fundraising number is at SarasotaManateeHeartWalk.org.