For the 1 in 100

Heart Heroes hosted their ninth annual fundraiser for CHD awareness


Heart Heroes

The Heart run continues their annual tradition of the kid’s dash across the field. Towards the end of the event the kids line up across Werner Park to begin their run across the field. “The dash is something that we have always done at our events” Burton said. “Its a moment celebrated by the kids to show how far they have come through their CHD journey.

Quinn Burton, Staff Reporter

On Sunday, Sept. 19 Heart Heroes held their annual fundraiser at Werner Park. Aimed at raising awareness and funds for Congenital Heart Disease (CHD), Heart Heroes has become one of the largest foundations for CHD awareness. It provides support to children and families affected by the disease through the distribution of superhero capes, programs to offer hope, and awareness initiatives to increase funding for CHD research. 

Ongoing nine years the heart run has become a prominent event with almost 1200 people attending their most recent fundraiser. The event is planned by executive director of Heart Heroes Kitty Burton, who has continuously helped evolve the event as time goes on. On Sunday, the fundraiser surpassed its goal and raised over $77,000. 

“We’ve seen the lack of awareness,” Burton said. “CHD is an unserved population, so we decided to create this national platform for CHD awareness. It’s a great way not only to empower and honor our kids but also to spread awareness at the same time. It’s a fundraiser event, but also a family support event. It encompasses our whole mission.”

At the beginning of the event, families joined in on activities both for the kids and the adults. Participants could partake in balloon making, raffles, and even free blood typing. Many volunteers helped make the experience an overall great time for the kids. Students from Millard West’s DECA, a finance and managing class, volunteered at the event to complete a project for class. 

“At the HeartHeroes event I helped make a piece of art,” DECA volunteer and sophomore Jaclyn Johnson said. “It was a canvas where all Heart Heroes and angels would make hearts using their painted fingerprints. Many of the other DECA members helped with face painting and tattoos.”

Before the run begins, Heart Heroes gifts the children affected by CHD their very own cape in recognition of their bravery and heroism. To many, the cape is an accessory; to others, it is a symbol of hope and invincibility.  Parents and loved ones of children affected by CHD joined in the race to honor their children and raise funds for the cause. The participants were able to choose between a 2k or a 5k run, which took place around the field. 

While the majority of the event’s moments are filled with joy, they can also be emotional and impactful. For many families who suffered a loss, the gathering offers a chance to remember their children. Heart Heroes organizes a butterfly release each year to remember the children lost to CHD. These critical moments help families find comfort in their loss.

“I really appreciated being able to speak with everyone who was affected by CHD. Johnson said. It was heartbreaking, but hearing people’s stories had an impact on me. I had a great time watching all of the little kids dressed up in superhero costumes. It was adorable and made me smile.”

While the event serves as a support for many families, it also focuses on the funding for major CHD research. The donations and funds raised from that event help build the community, as opposed to the company just taking in the profit. Despite Heart Hero’s nationwide status, it makes sure it completes its mission at a local scale by giving back in a noble way. 

Heart Heroes has successfully completed its ninth year and is looking forward to its tenth anniversary next year. With each event passing by,  the company will continue to grow and raise awareness for CHD. By walking, running, and flying Heart Heroes are fighting for the one in 100.