Heart walk honours treasured participant

Open Heart Society's Walk for Heart celebrates life of the late David Barker

This year’s Walk for Heart is dedicated to longtime walker and fundraiser David Barker

Each year about 100 people take a Walk for Heart in Sidney. This year, the 39th annual of the fundraiser for the First Open Heart Society of B.C. will be dedicated to longtime walker David Barker, who died in December.

“The heart walk this year is in honour of him because of all he’s done for the walk,” said George Coldwell, vice-president of the society.

The First Open Heart Society of British Columbia is a non-profit organization run by volunteers and provides support to patients awaiting, or who have undergone open heart surgery or other cardiovascular procedures, their spouses and family members.

Coldwell underwent surgery 25 years ago. It’s his 16th organizing the Sidney walk and silent auction to raise funds for the society.

“I feel I owe them something,” he said.

Funds raised are earmarked for production of a new open heart before and after video; helping families with children born with heart defects; and travel and financial help for families who may need special services not available in their community.

“We’ve been lucky, we hit $13,000 last year,” Coldwell said.

The society also runs Heart House in Victoria that accommodates out of town patients and families.

The annual walk starts at the Scout Hall at Third Street and Bevan Avenue and loops through a couple of different routes in Sidney. Registration is at 11 a.m. on June 3. The walk starts at noon.

Learn more about the society and download a sponsor form for the walk at www.fohs.bc.ca.

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