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God’s Special Little Hearts, Inc. held its first congenital heart defect awareness walk eight years ago and chairperson Katie Columbia said the only way to explain the event’s continued success is God himself.
The event was held Saturday at Owenton First Baptist Church’s Family Life Center, with a total of 37 teams participating, nine more than the previous year’s event.
“Some of the families we recognized couldn’t be with us Saturday, but we recognized them anyway,” Columbia said. “We recognized a total of 44 families during the walk.”
The event itself raised a total of $11,254, which Columbia said will go toward fuel costs, bills and hotel rooms for families who have a child hospitalized from a congenital heart defect.
“The money usually goes for fuel costs,” Columbia said. “That’s our main request because families are traveling back and forth from the hospital so much during those times.”
A CHD family from North Carolina traveled to Owenton to share their ministry and perform during Saturday’s event.
Duane and Cindy Mullett, missionaries with Gospel Express Ministries, have one daughter that was diagnosed with a CHD and received a heart transplant. The couple also had a teenage son who passed away in 2010 from severe rejection of his second transplanted heart.
“I talked with all of the teams that participated and the response was very positive,” Columbia said. “Our teams that had participated in previous years felt like this was our best year and it had a lot to do with the Mullett family being there, they really set the tone for the walk.”
God’s Special Little Hearts, Inc. will continue to raise money throughout the remainder of February with both Owen County Primary, Elementary and Middle Schools participating in the “Change for CHDs” fund drive.
Several businesses in Owen and Carroll Counties are selling hearts to their patrons for $1. The patron’s name is placed on the purchased hearts and placed inside the businesses to show the patron supported the walk.
Donations for the walk will be accepted through the month of February by contacting Katie Columbia at 502-514-1305, Meg Fitzgerald at 859-620-0289 or Kenda Franks at 502-484-0659.
“This event has continued to be a success because of God,” Columbia said. “Everything has always fell together the way it was supposed to with no hangups. When we’ve asked people to help, they’ve helped and we tell everyone that it keeps going because of God.”