Press release by Franciscan Health:

LA PORTE, Ind. – Franciscan Health Michigan City is again teaming up with Bolt for the Heart for the annual race to place life-saving automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in law enforcement vehicles.

This year’s family 3.34-mile and 6 .7-mile walk/run will take place at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14 at Cummings Lodge in Soldiers Memorial Park, 250 Pine Lake Ave. in La Porte.

Bolt for the Heart is an Indiana-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that raises funds through sponsorships, donations and runs/walks to buy AEDs for first responders.

Each year, sudden cardiac arrest kills 335,000 people of all ages and fitness levels without warning. Ninety five percent of those who suffer sudden cardiac arrest die because CPR and defibrillation are administered too late. If the first person on the scene knew CPR and applied an AED within five minutes, the American Heart Association estimates at least 40,000 more lives per year could be saved.

Law enforcement officials are often the first on the scene and are better equipped to save lives with the AEDs donated through fundraising events in partnership with Bolt from the Heart, which are kept in their patrol vehicles.

“Our partnership with Bolt for the Heart continues to support the missions for both of our organizations and as a result we are saving lives together in the communities we serve,” said Franciscan Health Michigan City President and CEO Dean Mazzoni. “Franciscan Health Michigan City is honored to again be a part of this important event.”

Funds from the 2022 run, sponsored by Franciscan Health Michigan City, allowed for the purchase of 39 AEDs for local law enforcement, including the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department (20 AEDs), Michigan City Police Department (13 AEDs) and La Porte Police Department (six AEDs). The donations completed Bolt for the Heart’s goal of having an AED in every patrol vehicle in the fleets.

“All of us here at Bolt for the Heart are so humbled and honored to be part of the fifth-annual run,” said Pierre Twer, president and founder of Bolt for the Heart. “Franciscan Health has been our sponsor for all five years and has been pivotal in allowing us to place the AED’s in our law enforcement heroes’ patrol cars.”

 The Play for Jake Foundation has been part of the Bolt for the Heart program since its inception with the help of founder Julie West. West is driven in her efforts to save other families from the loss her family experienced when her son, Jake, died on the LaPorte High School practice field as the result of an undetected heart condition in 2013.

“Preventive measures like bolstering the number of AEDs throughout our community will save lives,” West said. “The Play For Jake Foundation is honored to partner with Bolt for the Heart and presenting sponsor Franciscan Health Michigan City to place more lifesaving devices in law enforcement vehicles.”

Registration for the 3.34-mile walk/run is $30 before Sept. 25 and increases to $35 thereafter. Registration for the 6.7-mile walk/run is $40 before Sept. 25 and increases to $45 thereafter. A special Play for Jake package is available for $99, which includes a quarter zip shirt, t-shirt, headband and donation.

For more information on the Bolt for the Heart walk/run, to register for the event or to donate, go to