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Annual Owenton fund-raiser to battle heart defects to be held Feb. 19

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Walk can help save life of a child

By Molly Haines

Each year, God’s Special Little Hearts helps dozens of families deal with the pains of congenital heart defects, and the upcoming CHD walk will keep the organization up and running throughout 2011.
The sixth annual Walk for Awareness of CHDs will be held from noon to 7 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Owenton First Baptist Church Family Life Center.
Chairperson of God’s Special Little Hearts Katie Columbia said the walk began in 2006 to show support of other families who may have a child or grandchild suffering from a CHD.
Columbia’s son, Isaiah, was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, Double Outlet Right Ventricle and other heart abnormalities.
“We really wanted to help other families who were going through this and show them our support,” Columbia said. “The walk is our major fund-raiser. We have several other fund-raisers throughout the year but the walk is what raises the most and helps us provide gas cards and care packages to those whose child may be going through treatment.”
Columbia said the walk also gives families the opportunity to meet and talk with others who have experienced similar situations.
“It lets these families know that they’re not alone,” Columbia. “We do have three or four families that attend our walk that have actually lost someone to a CHD. The families have the opportunity to meet with one another and a lot of them stay in touch throughout the year, either by e-mail or Facebook or phone.”
Entertainment will be held throughout the day of walk.
Columbia said two changes have been made to the entertainment schedule.
David Stahl will no longer be performing from 5:30-6:15 p.m. and Tori Wolford will be performing from 3:45-4 p.m.
Vendors will be setup throughout the day of the walk, including Mary Kay, Tastefully Simple, Team Spirit and Baskets by Kim Hearn.
Hearts are now available at participating merchants for a $1 donation.
A change drive is being held at Owen County Primary, Elementary and Middle Schools and will run through Feb. 18. The winning class from each school will get a pizza party.
Two UK basketball tickets will be raffled off during the walk. Chances for the tickets can be purchased for $1 or six for $5. Names will be drawn during the event. The tickets are for the March 9 game at Rupp Arena, which is also the team’s last home game and senior night.
A silent auction will also be held during the day of the walk. Columbia said anyone wanting to donate to the silent auction can drop off items at the extension office on Fairgrounds Road.
“I would encourage everyone to come out and attend this event because you never know when it could be you,” Columbia said. “It’s just not something you think about. I had two very healthy children and never thought about it happening. One in every 100 children is born with a heart defect, so it could always be you down the road. This event is absolutely free and everyone is welcome.”