GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Hundreds of survivors and their supporters turned out at Jones Park in Gulfport Saturday morning for the American Heart Association's Heart Walk.
The annual event is a chance for people to learn how to live healthier lifestyles free of cardiovascular disease and stroke, which are still the number one and number three killers in the U.S.
Butch Oustalet, a stroke survivor, and a familiar face on the coast served as this year's Heart Walk chair. You could see his message on red shirts all around the Heart Walk saying "Big "O" says, 'Save hearts Regardless.' which echoes his popular catchphrase in commercials for his car dealership.
The overall fundraising goal for this year's Gulf Coast Heart Walk is $380,000.
The event also featured activities, including a "Healthy for Good Passport" which allowed participants to visit several booths to learn life-saving tips, and then qualify to win prizes.
For survivors who didn't feel up to the entire three-mile trek, there was also a one-mile survivor route.
According to the American Heart Association, there are more than 85-million Americans living with some form of cardiovascular disease or the after-effects of stroke. That's why physical activity is vital in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and why the fundraising for research is so important.
You can still make a donation to the Gulf Coast Heart Walk, just click here.