Edith Roth is the chairwoman of the 2003 Heart Walk, an event sponsored by the American Heart Association designed to raise money for heart research.
Photo by Elwood Hamilton
Edith Roth means business.
After losing her husband in 1991 to a heart attack, the Thomson native has become determined to educate people about the dangers of heart disease.
So it makes perfect sense that this year Roth is the chairman of the 2003 Heart Walk - an event sponsored by the American Heart Association designed to raise money for heart research. Her personal experience with heart disease and her enthusiasm for community development and public awareness make her the perfect choice to coordinate the event.
"I do think that we need to remember that heart disease is the number one killer in this country and in McDuffie County," she said. "There have been so many people who have benefited from research. Treatment is getting better, and people know more about what they need to do to prevent heart attacks and cardiovascular problems."
The 2003 Heart Walk will be at 9:15 a.m., March 1, at Thomson Middle School. Participants will walk a two-mile route through the Hickory Hills area of Thomson. The McDuffie County Chamber of Commerce is helping to organize the event.
Cancer fundraisers such as Relay for Life often garner a lot of public support, but Chamber Director Carolyn Gilbert thinks that heart fundraisers are just as important.
"There's a place for the Heart Walk too," she said. "(Heart disease) affects so many people."
Gilbert added that food will be provided by Subway at the event. There will also be other heart-friendly foods available.
Roth's willingness to turn her loss into a desire to educate others is particularly courageous. What's surprising, though, is that she still fights heart disease today.
Roth's husband, Bob, who is deceased, ran a local oil distributorship for Exxon. After his death, Roth ran her husband's business until 1996, when she sold it. Since then she has re-married and watched her three children grow.
"(My children) are already experiencing high cholesterol," she said. "It (heart difficulty) is obviously hereditary."
The Heart Walk is made up of teams that typically have ten individuals each. The goal, said Roth, is for each individual to raise $100 by asking family and friends to contribute. She also added that because most teams are aligned with local businesses, more often than not fundraisers are held to raise money so as to avoid pressure on an individual.
"Realistically, you would hope for $1,000 from each team," she said.
Anyone or any business interested in participating in the 2003 Heart Walk is urged to contact either Edith Roth at 595-2405, Carolyn Gilbert at 597-1000, or Coker Gamble of the American Heart Association at 855-5005.
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