The annual Heart Walk was held Saturday at Olney Central Collegse along with the annual HealthFest.
The Heart Walk had approximately 150 walkers and runners and raised $16,761.40.
The top individual fundraiser was Don Murray with $2,130. The top fundraising team was St. Paul United Methodist Church with $2,130, second place went to Walmart Distribution Center with $1,688.02 and Pacific Cycle took third place with $1,200.01.
The money that is raised goes to American Heart Association.
As Heart Walk Chairman Herman Zuber began his speech before the 5K walk/run began, he said that in approximately 60 seconds two Americans have suffered a heart attack or have died from cardiovascular disease.
"During that same 60 seconds, someone has suffered a stroke," he said, adding that the money that is raised will "make a difference in the lives of others."
Beth Walker, a representative with American Heart Association, said that "Richland County is such a giving community."
Walker also said that American Heart Association is trying to have people sign a petition to make Emergency Medical Services (EMS) an essential service in Illinois. It has never legally been made an essential service like fire and police protection.
Diana Mercer, of The Heart Group in Evansville, Ind., discussed the importance of heart health, including eating healthier, managing blood pressure, reducing blood sugar, reducing stress and exercising regularly.
She said that signs of a heart attack, including shortness of breath, pain in the neck and breaking out in a cold sweat, should be addressed immediately.
"Minutes matter. Time is muscle," Mercer said. She said most heart attacks occur slowly and can feel like indigestion.
The problem of obesity has led many 12-year-olds to have the heart of a 45-year-old, she said.
The HealthFest included 56 exhibitors from health and wellness organizations. Cholesterol and PSA screenings and other services were available as well.
A total of 630 people attended the event, according to Richland Memorial Hospital Nurse Manager Laura Woods. There were 208 blood-sugar screenings, 166 cholesterol screenings, 28 PSA screenings, 48 hearing screenings and 20 vision screenings.
Kevin Ryden can be reached at email@example.com.