WIBX Radiothon is where Heart Run first began

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - There were many media outlets on hand at the 2010 America's Greatest Heart Run and Walk Health Expo Friday, all trying help raise money for the American Heart Association, including radio's WIBX.

WIBX 950 AM was on hand at the Expo in Utica College's Gym, holding its annual Heart Radiothon to urge listeners to donate to the Heart Association.

They say it's not only a way to get involved in the community but spread the word about taking care of yourself.

"There's always the attitude that it's not going to happen to me or anyone I love," said WIBX News Director Jeff Monaski. "But when you realize it does (effect you), it sends a message to be proactive. Once you have heart attack...for some, it's too late."

This is the 39th year in which WIBX has been holding the Heart Radiothon, which is where the heart weekend all began.

The very first Heart Radiothon was held in 1971, in memory of employee Ralph Allinger, who died of heart disease. The Radiothon continued every year, eventually supplemented by a memorial run, a number of shorter walk events, a health expo, and TV telethons.

WIBX was the very first station in the country to hold radiothons for the American Heart Association, and over the years, WIBX's success spurred other radiothons across the country. As of 2008, however, WIBX was once again the only station in America holding a radiothon to benefit AHA.