Anyone driving through Florence on Friday afternoon would have surely noticed hundreds of kids walking along the bike path next to the highway holding heart-shaped signs and dressed in pink.
Florence-Carlton Middle School students spent their Physical Education class hours promoting heart health all day on Friday, and they literally walked the walk instead of just talking.
The kids made banners and carried heart-shaped shields that they made themselves.
The kids were trying to raise community awareness in the fight for live-saving research and educational programs regarding heart and blood vessel diseases. Heart disease is the leading causes of death in the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With obesity rates increasing all over the country, heart health is likely to be an issue that won't be going away in this country anytime soon, and the Florence kids have been learning about heart disease prevention and other issues all week.
However, even though they were dealing with a serious subject, it wasn't just a solemn procession in Florence on Friday.
"I order you to have fun," said organizer Nancy Stock through a bullhorn as the kids prepared to go on their walk. "Just don't wander onto the highway."
Youngsters Simon Reed and MacKenzie Little led a group of their classmates down the path. They cheered every time they got a car on the highway to honk. Both kids seemed to relish the opportunity to get some fresh air and promote a good cause.
"It's really fun to be outside," Reed said as Little nodded in agreement.
Each student had a heart-shaped hat that bobbled in the air as well, making for quite the pink-colored spectacle.
According to Paula Baker, Youth Market Director for the American Heart Association, Florence-Carlton students, staff and parents have always been very supportive of this cause in the past.
"However this year they are making a huge attempt to help their community members and those surrounding them to be more aware of Heart Healthy Lifestyles," she said. "They are truly heart heroes."
Reporter David Erickson can be reached at 363-3300 or email@example.com.