The American Heart Association is inviting the community to celebrate the 50th anniversary of America's Greatest Heart Run & Walk at Utica University on March 2.

100 Years of the American Heart Association

Heart Shape Made with Words Dealing with 'Go Red for Women' a Campaign to Bring Awareness to Women's Heart Health
Photo Credit: Michael Loccisano/ Getty Images for Go Red

The American Heart Association believes there will one day be a world where no one has to say goodbye to a loved one because of heart disease. WIBX lost one of its own in 1971 when the legendary personality Ralph Allinger died of a heart attack.

Since then, WIBX and the American Heart Association have worked together to promote heart health in the Mohawk Valley. Together, they laid the foundation for what is now known today as America's Greatest Heart Run & Walk.

The annual tradition took shape in 1974 when a group of runners sprinted from Barneveld to the old WIBX studio building in Clark Mills in honor of Allinger.  This year marks the 50th anniversary of that inaugural run and the hope is this year will be the greatest yet.

Read More: Massive Changes Coming to CNY's Beloved Heart Run & Walk 

This year's event kicks off at Utica University on March 2, but the campus will be buzzing the day before because the WIBX Heart Radiothon will go live from 6am to 6pm to raise money to save lives from heart disease.

WIBX Heart Radiothon Returns for Its 52nd Year

Heart Radiothon 2019
Photo Credit - P.W. Creighton/WIBX

Since Allinger's death in 1971, WIBX has honored him each year with a radiothon to raise money for heart health. It should also be noted WIBX's event is the longest-running Heart Radiothon in the country.

Slocum-Dickson Medical Group has once again signed on as the event's sponsor and will graciously share its medical team with WIBX to talk about the warning signs of heart issues and ways to live a healthier life.

A few doctors will also take part in the infamous Treadmill Challenge and, this year, there will be some surprise guests and celebrities who will help raise money for heart health.

During the 12-hour broadcast, WIBX will be taking your pledges to fund the American Heart Association here in Central New York. The number to call this year to support the drive will be 624-WIBX (9429).

More About the Heart Run & Walk



Steve Gassner has returned as the director of America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk and expressed his excitement to see the massive event return to its roots just in time to celebrate its 50th anniversary:

The progress that the American Heart Association has made in the past 50 years means that more of our family members and friends have lived longer and happier lives.We are looking to recruit more committee members to help us celebrate this significant event in our community, and help launch the next 50 years of lifesaving work of the American Heart Association.

Todd Pfannestiel, Ph.D., president of Utica University, is excited to welcome the event back onto his campus.

He said, "The mission of the American Heart Association means better health for all of us, and we can’t think of a better way to start to wrap up winter than by hosting this great event."

Read More: 40th Annual WIBX Slocum Dixon Heart Radiothon

Also to help raise funds will be the Heart Telethon on WKTV, sponsored by GPO Federal Credit Union. The fundraiser will take place starting at 8 in the morning on March 1 and end at 11 a.m. on March 2.

WIBX/Megan Stone
WIBX/Megan Stone

For those seeking more information about America’s Greatest Heart Run & Walk, to be a corporate sponsor, or to register and begin building teams, visit or email or visit HERE.

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