MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) — Dozens of teams, hundreds of participants, and lots of horses took to the beaches this week to raise money for the American Heart Association.
“They’ve been working all year. A lot of them are heart survivors, stroke survivors or they lost loved ones from heart disease so this has really been on their bucket list to ride on the beach for such a great cause,” Sara Nelson, the Director of Development for the American Heart Association Beach ride said.
Nelson said the goal this year is to raise $500K and as of Saturday afternoon, they’ve raised $384,641.
The top fundraising team, Team Noah has raised $113,170.
“There’s not another event like this, certainly not in the southeast and I don’t think anywhere in the country so when people get the opportunity to come and be apart of it, it’s bigger than yourself because you’re participating in a team, you’re participating in a winning team, and you’re serving a great cause,” participant Robbie Dunaway said.
Dunaway said his family formed, ‘Team Noah’ for his grandson, Noah Moore who had heart surgery at one week old.
“When he was born we thought everything was okay so my wife and I, we were at the hospital with his mother and father and everything, then we went home and about 3 o’clock in the morning, she called us back and we went back to the hospital and said he’s got a problem and he can’t come back in the room or anything and put him in ICU so the following morning they did some more tests and said he needed to have open-heart surgery,” Dunaway said.
Now, Noah is 8 years old and riding his horse on the beach with his family.
Nelson said this event not only raises money for the American Heart Association but promotes heart health.
“80 percent of heart disease is preventable, and one of the things the heart association that were here to inform the public is there are simple things you can do to change your risk of heart disease so a lot of the money here that’s raised is for research and for prevention and it’s still the number one cause of death so it’s needed now more than ever,” Nelson said.
Nelson added that “horseback riding is actually really great for your heart. A little known fact it burns about 300 calories an hour so our folks we’ve been on a big awareness campaign to let them know how good horseback riding is for you.”
To donate and find out more about the American Heart Association Beach ride, go to their website here.
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