For people undergoing or who have undergone heart surgery or other procedures to do with the heart, the First Open Heart Society provides resources to help answer question and offer support options.
Society member George Coldwell of Sidney, who had his own open heart surgery some 26 years ago, says the group exists to support patients and their families as they go through the trauma of heart related surgery.
And to support the society, they are holding their annual Walk for Hearts in Sidney on Sunday, June 2.
“We usually get around 100 people out,” Coldwell said. “Not all of them walk but they come to support us and to check out the silent auction.”
He said the silent auction always receives a tremendous amount of positive support from the community and this year is no different. There are around 70 great items on the auction table this year, Coldwell said, including a whale watching trip and gift baskets from a variety of local businesses.
The goal of this year’s Walk for Hearts is to raise $13,000. Coldwell said the money raised at the event will be split between the Victoria Jubilee Hospital, Saanich Peninsula Hospital and the Victoria Heart House — a bed and breakfast close to the Jubilee Hospital offering comfortable and low-cost accommodation for the family of out-of-town heart patients.
Money raised at the Walk goes to the Jubilee’s hearth health unit and the Saanich Peninsula Hospital’s cardiac rehabilitation services.
During the rest of the year, Coldwell said the society relies on other donations, the support of society members and bequests to keep them running.
This weekend’s Walk for Hearts starts with registration at 11 a.m. at the Sidney Scout Hall at 9732 Third St. The Walk itself gets underway at 12 noon.
There will be two routes for walkers. The first runs down Bevan Avenue to the Seaside Walkway, around to First Street and back up Bevan to the Scout Hall. The second starts at the Scout Hall, goes along Bevan and down Ocean Avenue to Fifth Street, past Tulista Park to a turn-around point, back along Fifth to Bevan and returning to the Scout Hall.
Details about the event and about the Society can be found by calling 250-595-2123.