More than $1 million raised in Heart Run & Walk

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - It was a cold morning but warm spirits filled Utica College as the 2013 Heart Run & Walk comes to a successful close.

Thousands participated in the several events that culminated Saturday morning.

Through the several sources of fundraising, more than $1,100,000 was raised.

Event Director Jim Stasaitis says Barneveld is where the huge fundraiser began and is known as the home of the Heart Run. Stasaitis says a group of runners called the Steuben Striders who live in this part of Oneida County first ran pledges down to the WIBX Radiothon back in 1974.

On Saturday, Barneveld resident and Steuben Strider member Peter Kocinski ran the 18.6 miles from Barneveld to Utica for the 20th time.

Kocinski says he wouldn't miss this event and does it in memory of some friends and family members who have been affected by heart disease. He said, "This is very precious to me, because I live here and this is my hometown, so it's like homecourt to me, so I train here, I'm proud to be a Strider."

The Steuben Striders and thousands of others who took part in the runs and walks, ended up at the Utica College gymnasium for a big celebration and unveiling of the grand total raised for heart research.

That total is $1,100,188. It is only $2,013 less than in 2012.

Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri, who took part in the 3 Mile Walk says it is truly amazing for a community our size to raise more than one million dollars in a single event. Mayor Palmieri said, "This tells you right now, why this area's so great, you talk about tough times, people come together, they give when they don't have the money to give."

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