Sports

Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto invites all residents to join with local community leaders to officially unveil an American Heart Start! Walking Path through historic Oyster Bay on Wednesday, April 8 at 11 a.m. at Fitness Together, 123 South Street, Oyster Bay. Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, attendees will be invited to participate in the inaugural walk on the path, the first to be established by a Town on Long Island.

According to Venditto, the Oyster Bay Town Board is proud to partner with the American Heart Association in encouraging residents to embark upon an active and healthier life. "This path is one mile in length and will provide a backdrop for healthy fitness activity," Venditto said. "In addition, it will also become a destination for visitors interested in a walking tour of local historic points of interest."

The American Heart Association (AHA), which will conduct free blood pressure screenings at the ribbon-cutting event, reports that approximately 8,600 people on Long Island die each year from cardiovascular disease, which represents more people than the entire hamlet of Oyster Bay. "It is Long Island's number one cause of death," explained Susan Somerville, chair of the AHA Board. "This frightening statistic, combined with the overwhelming support and interest of the Town of Oyster Bay and the community, provided the impetus to move forward with our walking path through historic Oyster Bay."

Frank Ulrich, owner of Fitness Together, an Oyster Bay business, initiated conversation with the American Heart Association and the Town of Oyster Bay to implement a fitness and well-being program. With a commitment of all parties concerned, plans were immediately put into motion. Ulrich has offered his location as the official AHA information center, providing brochures, nutritional information and educational seminars. The Oyster Bay Main Street Association enthusiastically became involved and the Oyster Bay Hamlet Historic Walking Path became the perfect Start! Walk Path location.

Dana Sydney, partner of Dayton and Sydney Wealth Strategies Group, generously agreed to be the corporate sponsor of the event. Sydney had open-heart surgery at the age of 29 and dedicates his time, energy and corporate support to heart-healthy awareness.

Venditto said the Start! Walk Path ribbon-cutting ceremony coincides with the AHA's National Start Walk Day on April 8. "We're delighted to soon have the Start! Walk Path in historic Oyster Bay, knowing it will encourage Oyster Bay residents and visitors to begin a heart health-walking regimen," Venditto said. "Regular exercise helps prevent heart attacks and strokes, and hopefully, this concept will be the model for other municipalities and communities."

Start! is the AHA's national initiative that calls on all Americans and their employers to create a culture of physical activity and health to live longer, heart-healthier lives through walking. "Walking is a great way for people of all ages to stay fit physically and spiritually," Venditto. "We invite everyone in the community to join us for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and an inaugural walk on April 8. Don't forget your walking sneakers."


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