MANASQUAN — Big Hearts to Little Hearts hosted its annual walkathon, starting and ending at Leggett’s, to raise money for children who are battling congenital heart disease [CHD].
Over 100 residents from all over New Jersey came out to support the walk down the Manasquan boardwalk on Saturday. Many groups, wearing different t-shirts, came out in support of specific kids who have survived CHD.
Lynne Accisano, president of Big Hearts to Little Hearts, said the organization at its core is a large group of families who come together for “various events to raise money that funds research and programs that help children born with CHD to survive longer and to live medically better, healthier lives.”
Frank Accisano, trustee of the charity, said Big Hearts to Little Hearts supports the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia [CHOP] and has sponsored “a number of programs there that have resulted in some real advances, major breakthroughs, that keep the kids alive longer and with better lives.”
Since the organization’s inception in 2003, the charity has raised over $1 million for CHD research. This walk was expected to raise close to $40,000, according to Ms. Accisano.
Ms. Accisano and her father, Mr. Accisano, got involved in the organization in 2007, after her son was born with severe CHD.
Mr. Accisano said Leggett’s donates their whole patio and provides a full buffet for all those who participated in the walk. “They are very accommodating and that is why we are here every year.”
On top of this walk, the charity also hosts a golf outing in May and a gala at the Manasquan Elks in the winter.
“Aside from the obvious fact of raising funds to expand research and help these kids live longer lives, it’s also a support group,” said Mr. Accisano, who explained how this helps families cope with going through these experiences as everyone who is a part of this organization has had their lives touched by CHD.
To learn more about the organization, or to donate to CHD research, visit bighearts2littlehearts.com.
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