CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla.- More than 1,000 participants are expected to attend the annual Charlotte County Heart Walk Saturday, an event to benefit the lifesaving work of the American Heart Association.

The walkers united to celebrate the campaign beginning at 7:30 a.m. at Laishley Park in Punta Gorda. This year, the American Heart Association and volunteer leadership have a fundraising goal of $110,000.

Combining fitness and philanthropy, this annual walk brings together corporate sponsors, walk teams, individual walkers, survivors of heart disease and stroke and lifestyle change heroes who are all taking steps toward a healthier lifestyle while raising funds to combat heart disease and stroke, the No. 1 and No. 4 leading killers, respectively, of American men and women. Proceeds will support research, education and community programs of the American Heart Association. Activities at the event include a special kid’s zone, health screenings, games, entertainment and free food.

The American Heart Association would like to recognize and thank Bayfront Health Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda as the 2014 Charlotte County My Heart. My Life. Sponsor. Bayfront Health has been a longtime supporter of the AHA and has once again stepped up as the top sponsor to assist in critical research, education, and community programs.  Additionally, thanks are given to National presenting sponsor Subway.

Each year, 1.2 million Americans will suffer a coronary attack and 700,000 will have a stroke. By adopting a lifestyle of physical activity, individuals can reduce their healthcare costs, increase their productivity and improve their overall quality of life and longevity.

The Heart Walk is the American Heart Association’s premiere event for raising funds to save lives from this country’s No. 1 and No. 4 killers – heart disease and stroke. Designed to promote physical activity and heart-healthy living, the Heart Walk creates an environment that’s fun and rewarding for the entire family. This year, more than 1 million walkers will participate in nearly 350 events.