Creating a World of Support Challenge Raises Nearly $47,000

By Lisa Horn

From September 1 to World Heart Day on September 29, MHI members and their families got moving — for both their heart health and the health of the organization — as a part of the Creating a World of Support online virtual fundraiser. Now in its fourth year, this annual campaign is critical for raising funds for programs and educational materials — such as HeartGuide® printing and shipping, Heartbeat® magazine, printing and shipping of marketing materials and Discussion Guides, the Pillow Program, the Bravery Bag Program, state registrations and more — that are not funded by other sources.

Both individuals and teams could participate by choosing from distance goals that allowed all fitness levels to join in, ranging from 10K up to 13.1, 26.2 or 50 miles — or more. Distance was completed by walking, jogging, running or taking part in vigorous activities such as basketball, bicycling or swimming. Moderate-intensity household activities also netted miles. Everything was tracked on the Charity Footprints online fundraising platform, making it fun and easy to log miles.

In total, there were 259 donations, including 60 individual registrants. Additionally, 55 teams were created and fundraised. Of those, 41 teams raised $300 or more.

In total, we raised nearly $47,000!

Challenge Winners

Diane Caputo: Grand prize – trip to NYC to see the Rockettes
Leo O’Donell: 2nd prize – $250 gift card
Leslie Brown: 3rd prize – $100 gift card

Top 5 Most Miles – Team

MH Chapter 130 Thurston County, WA (Heart of Gold) – 937.7
MH Chapter 62 San Diego – 261.2
MH Chapter 498 Puget Sound – 135.6 MH Chapter 206 Palm Beach County – 120.7
MH Chapter 161 Hollywood, FL – 106.8

Top 10 Most Miles – Individual

Michael Blonden – 305.64
Diane Caputo – 209.65
Mike Leary – 190.7
Lawrence Swift – 180
Diana Rose – 173.21
Lea Parker – 161.62
Aaron Holm – 116.91
Amanda Goodwin – 109.45
M. Kay Lewis – 106.8
Rosemarie Yerzy – 101.85

Top Team Donors

MLH of the Sioux Empire – $10,000
MH Chapter 206 Palm Beach County – $2,675
MLH of the Bay Area – $2,500
MLH of Coastal Virginia – $2,000
MH Chapter 165 Albany, GA – $1,525
MLH of Oklahoma City – $1,500
MH Chapter 498 Puget Sound – $1,350
MH Chapter 130 Thurston County, WA (Heart of Gold) – $1,235
MH Chapter 420 Canton, GA (Don Hicks) – $1,115
MLH of Dallas – $1,125
MH Chapter 161 Hollywood, FL – $1,110
MH Chapter 290 Anchorage, AK – $1,000
MH Chapter 382 Bellingham, WA – $870
MH Chapter 281 Coachella, CA – $830
MH Chapter 412 Greenville, SC – $600
MLH of Washington, DC – $525
MH Satellite 115 Lexington, KY – $500
MH Chapter 5 Poughkeepsie, NY – $500
MH Chapter 351 Whittier, CA – $500
MH Chapter 296 Orlando, FL – $500
MH Chapter 260 Huntsville, AL – $500
MH Chapter 198 Delaware – $460
MH Chapter 380 Boise, ID – $425
MH Chapter 62 San Diego, CA – $405
MH Chapter 28 Richmond, VA – $400
MH Chapter 91 Wenatchee, WA – $400
MH Chapter 108 New York City, NY – $375
MH Chapter 81 Atlanta, GA – $350
MLH of Houston – $300
MLH of Fort Worth – $300
MH Chapter 9 Hartford, CT – $300
MH Chapter 78 Indianapolis, IN – $300
MH Chapter 200 Northern VA – $300
MH Chapter 34 Loma Linda, CA – $300
MH Chapter 69 Bellefontaine, OH – $300
MH Chapter 400 Fayetteville, NC – $300
MH Chapter 393 Spokane/MLH Spokane, WA – $300
MH Chapter 362 Sugarland, TX – $300
MH Chapter 350 Noblesville, IN – $300
MH Chapter 337 Barrington, IL – $300
MH Chapter 188 Oakland, CA – $300
MH Chapter 184 Cedar Rapids, IA – $300
MH Chapter 137 Medford, OR – $300
MH Chapter 107 Evansville, IN – $300
MLH of the Triangle, NC – $250
MH Chapter 427 Williamsburg, VA – $200
MH Chapter 364 Osceola, FL – $100 MH Chapter 415 San Luis Obispo, CA – $100

Thank You Northside Hospital Cherokee

Northside Hospital Cherokee donated $500 to Mended Hearts Creating a World of Support fundraising campaign in September 2022.

While most contributions to the Creating a World of Support campaign were from individuals, chapters and groups, there was one donation from a hospital: Northside Hospital Cherokee, which pledged $500 to the cause.

But this isn’t the only time that the Canton, Georgia-based hospital has supported MHI. It all began in late 2021 when Mended Hearts Chapter 420 approached Northside Hospital Cherokee to partner for educational opportunities. “We explained how contributions are important to Mended Hearts as the funds are specifically used to support our organization for training classes, educational programs and publications, includ- ing the printing of the educational HeartGuide® and Heartbeat® magazine,” says Donald Hicks, Chapter 420 president. “Northside Hospital’s support through their contribution helped Mended Hearts Chapter 420 climb to the sixth place in top fundraising and donations for the 2021 campaign.”

When the Creating a World of Support campaign began September 1, 2022, Hicks contacted the Northside Cherokee Community Relations Coordinator, Jennifer Stanley, who had also worked with the chapter in 2021. “Again, the Northside leadership team was very supportive of the MHI mission and was happy to submit a contribution under Northside Hospital Cherokee,” he says.

Thank you Northside Hospital Cherokee for your continued support of MHI and Chapter 420. Your contributions are much appreciated and allow us to continue serving heart patients and their families.

Team Heart of Gold: MH Chapter 130 Makes Big Contribution to Creating a World of Support

Members of Team Heart of Gold at Providence St. Peter Hospital. Back row: John Worcester (member), Bob Sherwood (treasurer), Larry Swift (member) and Michael Blonden (president). Front row: Diane Caputo (visitor coordinator and membership chair), Cheryl Hougham (member relations/sunshine) and Kristi Wells (secretary). Not pictured: Juli Sherwood (relative).

When it was time to get moving for the Creating a World of Support fundraiser, members of MH Chapter 130 Thurston County, WA (aka Team Heart of Gold) said “challenge accepted.”

Teammates Michael Blonden, Diane Caputo, Cheryl Hougham, Bob Sherwood, Juli Sherwood, Larry Swift, Kristi Wells and John Worcester together raised $1,235, the eighth-highest fundraising team in the campaign. And the team logged 937.7 miles, reaching the top spot for total team miles.

Individually, Blonden logged the most miles at 305.64, while Caputo won the challenge drawing and tickets to New York City to see the Rockettes.

The initial goal was to raise $100 per participating member to ensure at least $300 was raised. “I wanted to walk a certain distance (four ultra-marathons) and ended up doing five instead,” says Blonden.

AndCaputohadhereyesonthetripfromthe beginning. “I told my daughter all month long that if I won the trip, I promised to take her,” she says. “Someone is going to win the trip, and it might as well be me!”

The friendly competition was certainly a motivator. “We stayed engaged because it was fun … my competitive spirit kicked in,” says Wells. “I found myself not only competing for my chapter but also with myself, checking my status and pushing a little harder to log those miles I had committed to.”

The chapter was also able to get new members more involved, and the contact with relatives and friends brought more involvement with the chapter and what the Mended Hearts mission involves.

“No count of miles or effort is too small,” says Blonden. “This is what we do, we keep moving and give others hope that they can keep going, too.”

Top Fundraisers and Donors (more than $250)

Lea Parker – $2,387
Aaron Holm – $1,100
Ron and Angela Manriquez – $1,000
Denise Duch Widzgowski – $900
Rosemarie Yerzy – $875
Al Voss – $525
Don Hicks – $500
Northside Hospital, Canton, GA – $500
Harry Lorbach – $325
Michael Blonden – $300
Edward Marrone – $255
Deborah Fuchs – $250
Judy Peplinski – $250
Bob and Jean Sherwood – $250


Thank you to all who participated.

You helped raise awareness of Mended Hearts®, Young Mended Hearts® and Mended Little Hearts® while also shining a light on your local chapter or group, heart disease and congenital heart disease across the lifespan. The funds raised will help us keep the international resource center/operations going strong so our chapters and members get the services and support they need to thrive. We couldn’t have done it without you!