My experience with the American Heart Association Heart Walk was a great learning opportunity. I was put with the communications director, Nancy DeVault, who was in charge of all media covering this event, the talent performing and emceeing the event and making sure all sponsors were in correct locations.
I shadowed DeVault and helped with anything she asked. I was in charge of checking in all the talent and media for the event. After check in at 6 a.m., I directed the media to their locations before the walk began at 7 a.m. Next I helped the talent to the stage and directed what order they would be going in. For example, local newscasters were emceeing the event before it started so they went first and last.
American Heart Association plans this event many months before and with over 11,000 participants, it took a lot of promoting and social networking to put it all together. Other than constantly calling people to sponsor or participate, AHA used Facebook and their own personal website to promote this event. They updated statuses and posted polls to see who was returning and who was a new participant. Their website hosted survivor stories, current donation totals, and ways to sign up for the Heart Walk.
With an event goal of $1.2 million, AHA surpassed that total by $24,824. The money this event raised helps create awareness and research efforts for those who have heart problems or have a family history of cardiovascular disease and stroke. The money will go to patient care, education and awareness of the heart, and research.