The American Heart Association’s 25th Annual Heart and Stroke Walk in San Diego is happening Saturday, September 17, 2016.

San Diego, California, September 09, 2016

The American Heart Association 25th Anniversary Heart and Stroke Walk is about a week away.

“We are very pleased with the way everything is coming together,” explained 2016 San Diego Heart and Stroke Walk Chair Tom Gildred, CEO of San Diego based Emerald Textiles. “It is turning out to be one of the most successful Heart and Stroke Walks in San Diego to date, largely because of strong community engagement and leadership.”

Gildred noted how impactful it is to ask people to consider “what’s your Why?” when discussing their involvement and support. Nearly everyone can think of a person in their life or someone close to them who has been affected by heart disease or stroke.

For Gildred, that was easy. “One year before founding Emerald Textiles, my business partner and friend Bob Payne suffered sudden cardiac arrest. Bob was very fortunate that day because there were people in close proximity who knew CPR. If not for those people, I might have lost a business partner and a friend. Beyond that, the vision for Emerald Textiles might not have become a reality,” Gildred shared. “I’m grateful to say that Bob is my “Why” when it comes to working with the American Heart Association and participating in the Heart and Stroke Walk each year.” CPR is the result of American Heart Association funded research.

This year’s Heart and Stroke Walk is trending to include 10,000 walkers and over 100 companies involved, helping to raise $1.5 million dollars.

Gildred encourages everyone to think about their “Why,” then register for the 25th Anniversary celebration and join him at Balboa Park on Saturday, September 17. Registration for the San Diego Heart & Stroke Walk is free. For more information about the 25th Anniversary Heart and Stroke Walk or to get involved, please visit or call 858-410-3827.

According to the American Heart Association, walking is the simplest positive change individuals can make to effectively improve their heart health because it’s free, easy and has the lowest dropout rate of any exercise. Research has shown walking is the single most effective form of exercise to achieve heart health. The benefits of walking and moderate physical activity for as little as 30 minutes each day can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke – the number one and number five killers of Americans, respectively.

The 25th Anniversary American Heart Association San Diego Heart & Stroke Walk is sponsored nationally by Subway and locally by Union Bank. The San Diego Heart and Stroke Walk is presented by Emerald Textiles. Additional sponsors include Qualcomm, Alere, UC San Diego Health, AIG, Arthur J. Gallagher, Cooley, Swinerton Builders, ICW Group, Advantage Ambulance, Barney & Barney and Scripps Health.