MOOSIC — Highmark Health hosted a Walk for a Healthy Community at PNC Field on Saturday, bringing out over 250 participants and nine nonprofits in an effort to help area residents lead better, healthier lives.
And although walkers could choose between a 5K and a 1-mile walk, the success of the day had little to do with speed or competition and much to do with beneficial exercise and community awareness.
Anthony Matrisciano, Highmark, said the company provided the funding necessary to make the event possible, with all the money raised going directly to participating nonprofits.
Highmark was expecting to raise $35,000 from the day’s activities.
Gretchen Hunt-Greaves, of the Commission on Economic Opportunity, said the fundraiser dovetailed perfectly with her agency’s mission.
“The money raised here will go to our food bank,” she said. “We strive to help people eat healthy and be healthy. That’s what today is all about.”
Her son, Liam Greaves, 3, was also enjoying the event.
“He didn’t walk, but he did take a chance on a raffle that included a bottle with a fan on it,” she said, smiling. “If he doesn’t win, I think we’re going to stop and get him one.”
Bette Cox Saxon, executive director of Maternal and Family Health Services, said combining the idea of a fundraiser and an opportunity for families to get out and spend time together was “fabulous.”
“When Highmark reached out, we jumped on it,” she said.
Maternal and Family Health Services, the top fundraiser, led the walk.
Fees paid by participants were directed to the nonprofit of their choice.
Evan Frazier, who heads up community affairs at Highmark, said the company hosts similar events throughout the state.
“We loved the idea of a walk because it’s a way for people to get healthy,” he said. “And it’s a great way to raise both awareness and money for these nonprofits.”