SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– The 2022 Syracuse Heart Walk didn’t miss a beat this year as they returned to the SRC Arena at Onondaga Community College after two years of being virtual due to COVID-19.

Hundreds of community members came together Sunday morning for a cause, raising funds for the American Heart Association.

NewsChannel Nine’s very own Adrienne Smith emceed the event along side WSYR Radio’s Dave Allen.

The day featured both indoor and outdoor walking plus tons of fun games for the kids.

This year’s 2022 honorees were Chloe Burian and Brian Howard. Chloe is an 11-year-old who’s been battling Marfan Syndrome since the age of 4. The rare genetic disorder affects Chloe’s connective tissue in her body.

Howard, an American Heart Association board member, had open-heart surgery last year after experiencing some pain in his chest that developed into difficulties breathing and walking. He didn’t think much of it but decided to talk to his doctor about it and found out his heart was blocked.

Almost a year later and Howard’s sharing this message.

“Listen to your body and go to your doctor. So this was found because of those two things. If I hadn’t had my annual physical who knows with timing what would have happened. So listen to your body, really listen to your body and go see your doctor,” Howard said.

The 2022 chairperson, Keri Sweet Zavaglia from National Grid said she was feeling especially energized this year about the turnout of people both in-person and online.

“It’s amazing to see everyone here today really connecting with the mission. The American Heart Association is a force for longer, healthier lives and every dollar raised goes to life-saving research and advocacy programs and education and everyone wants to be a part of that,” Sweet Zavaglia said.

According to the American Heart Association 830,000 people die from heart disease every year, that’s five times the population of Syracuse. That’s why they’re on a mission to continue fighting for everyone to have healthy and long lives.

The Syracuse Heart Walk has raised over $400,000 so far and there’s still time to help them reach their goal of $580,000. If you’re interested in donating click here.