On the eve of Halloween, the third annual Bolt for the Heart Family Run/Walk will welcome costumed racers and a friendly competition between police departments in service of raising funds for lifesaving automatic external defibrillators.
This year’s race is set for 9AM, Saturday, Oct. 30, at Washington Park in Michigan City. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go directly toward purchasing AEDs for local law enforcement.
“Bolt for the Heart is celebrating our tenth year of operation in Indiana and excited to announce our third annual 5K run/walk in Michigan City. This year we will add a 10K distance as well. We are excited and honored to partner yet again with Franciscan Health, the Michigan City and LaPorte Police departments and Michigan City,” said Bolt for the Heart President Pierre Twer.
“Police officers are often the first to a scene where someone may need an AED, equipping every police car in LaPorte County is our goal,” Twer added. This year’s goal is to provide 55 AEDs to the Michigan City police and 30 to the LaPorte police. Those departments, along with the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department, will compete to see who can get the highest percentage of participants. Bolt for the Heart will donate an AED to each department that hits its participation goals.
“We are excited to participate in this friendly competition between our departments for the ultimate goal of providing this service to the citizens and visitors to our city. Our department has one recorded save and this with only AEDs in six patrol cars. We look forward to getting more to eventually to equip every officer’s car with one to further protect the public. Please join us in support of this worthy cause and join team LaPorte,” said LaPorte Police Chief Paul Brettin.
Michigan City Police Chief Dion Campbell added, “We are excited to partner with Bolt for the Heart in our endeavor to make the Michigan City Police Department one hundred percent rescue ready. The ability to equip our officers with 55 lifesaving AEDs through exciting community events is a terrific opportunity. On the brighter end of an unprecedented year of dealing with COVID-19, this is a perfect time to bring the Michigan City Community together for family fun and a great cause!”
The departments and the public will also compete in a best costume competition. The Halloween-themed event will feature a trunk or treat for kids as well. “Come join us with your loved ones, exercise a little, wear your Halloween costume, enjoy Washington Park, and join us for a trunk or treat afterwards! It will be a great day,” Twer said.
Franciscan Health Michigan City President and CEO Dean Mazzoni said, “Franciscan Health Michigan City is once again honored to sponsor the third annual Bolt for the Heart in beautiful Washington Park, Michigan City. The purpose of this event is to save lives in LaPorte county. We aim to accomplish this with a fun-filled, active day that supports our local police departments in Michigan City and La Porte. Through local partnerships and collective impact, we are proud to provide our first responders with the tools they need to save lives as they are often the first on the scene for a cardiac-related event.”
While the race itself will raise a substantial amount, to reach its goals, Bolt for the Heart is seeking event sponsors with three sponsorship levels: $1,000, $1,595 and $5,000. All sponsors will be highlighted at the event. Every donor who pledges an AED ($1,595) will have their company logo or name displayed on a window cling in the patrol vehicle that the AED was placed in. If interested in being a sponsor and making a difference in saving lives, please email Jeffrey.lebioda@franciscanalliance.org.
To register for the race and to learn about sponsorship opportunities, go online at www.boltfortheheart.com and click on the “LaPorte & Michigan City” link at the top of the page.
Over the past two years, Bolt for the Heart has raised funds to purchase a total of 62 AEDs for LaPorte County first responders. Bolt for the Heart is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that raises money through generous sponsors like Franciscan Health, donations and family 5Ks/half marathons to buy AEDs for first responders. Bolt has donated more than 2,000 AEDs, including 550 AEDs for the Indiana State Police, to date.