Utica, NY (WIBX) - America's Greatest Heart Run & Walk is gearing up for its annual event with something new this year.

The group is kicking off its 37th year of raising money and awareness about heart disease with a ceremonial walk for organizers and volunteers. Andrea MacDiarmid, Corporate Events Director at the American Heart Association said the walk is to show solidarity with participants. She said, "We thought it was important to do this walk because the weekend of the Heart Run and Walk, which is March 5th, we are very busy coordinating and volunteering so we thought this was a way to get out and show our support, and show that we as a team are also walking."

The ceremonial walk is happening at Noon tomorrow and the public is invited to take part. MacDiarmid said, "We would love to see support--walk with us--we'll be going up French Road to Utica College, if there's any businesses along the way and they want to just maybe stand and waive to us, beep to us, give us some support--we would love it." She said walkers should show up a few minutes before the walk starts. Participants are asked to meet in front of the American Heart Association Office at 120 Lomond Court in Utica for the walk to Utica College.

This year, America's Greatest Heart Walk & Run is hoping to raise $1.2 million for the American Heart Association. The 2011 News Conference and Kick-off for America's Greatest Heart Run & Walk Event will be held on January 13, 2011, at AmeriCU Credit Union, 231 Hill Road, Griffiss Business & Technology Park, Rome, NY.