Source: Sherman Publications

Walking for hearts

September 21, 2011


Special to the Clarkston News

About 250 people walked the streets of downtown Clarkston to help heal children's hearts, Sept. 11.

"It’s a great turn out – incredible for a first time walk," said Sally Powers, chair of the Clarkston Congenital Heart Walk for the Children's Heart Foundation and mother of a 3-year-old congenital-heart-defect survivor.

Walkers included Livonia resident Michael Kain, whose son, Colin Kain, was born with multiple congestive heart defects and died at 3 ½ months.

“We do this to support funding so kids get treatment, and for research, so kids don’t have to go through what so many others go through," Michael said. "There’s still a lot of work to be done."

"We want to help make sure people can live long, happy lives," said Donna Kain of Clawson, Michael's sister.

Randolph’s Salon of Clarkston organized a team of walkers.

“One day last year I was telling my stylist, Paige Zarb, about the Michigan CHF chapter and she didn’t even pause before saying, 'We’ll help! Let me talk to the other girls, ' and that was the beginning," Powers said. "They’ve been fantastic. We’ve been so grateful that they’ve donated their services as part of our fundraising efforts.”

The team included 20 walkers and raised $1,500.

"To see a local business get behind a cause so important to so many families, attests to the compassionate and willing spirit of everyone who works there," she said.

Susan VonBrockdorff, employed by Randolph’s Salon since 2008, was touched by Powers' efforts since her son was also born with a congenital heart defect.

“I am always in favor of supporting causes that are near and dear to our hearts here at Randolph’s,” explained Mary Randolph. “I wanted Sue to know that we support her family when they are going through rough times.”

The walk is in its second year nationally, its first in Clarkston.

"We've had fantastic support for the walk," said Bill Foley, executive director of CHF. "To see all these kids and families is incredible."

Powers heads the CHF Michigan Chapter in its second year of development.

"It’s going well," she said. "This is our third fund raiser. We're growing, and we're close to reaching 501c3 status. We want to create as much awareness as we can. Kids are fighting heart disease every day."

The Congenital Heart Walk is a national effort between The Children’s Heart Foundation and the Adult Congenital Heart Association. CHD’s are the most common and deadly birth defect in the U.S. Money raised funds services, programs, and medical research.

Check or Call Randolph’s Salon, 5890 Sashabaw Road, at 248-620-2000.

– Phil Custodio contributed to this report.