By JAKE ROBINSON
Waterloo Region curlers were throwing stones to build hearts as solid as rocks on Feb. 17, during the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s 10th annual Curling For Heart Bonspiel at the K-W Granite Club.
Although the attendance was lower than previous years, 14 teams participated and raised over $18,000.
Over 20 businesses, including Centre in the Square, Dickson Bowl and Reid Chocolates, donated prizes for participants to bid on during a silent auction with all of the proceeds going to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Participants also enjoyed a free lunch donated by Jay Fencing.
Lunch was followed by guest speaker, Paul Schnarr, who had a heart attack in October 2007 while playing hockey. He talked about his story as well as the importance of taking care of yourself and the accessibility to defibrillators.
“I tell people to change their life habits if they’re not eating healthy or they’re not exercising, it’s good to do a combination of both,” he said. “When you eat, don’t eat big meals at once, eat more smaller meals.”
Shortly after his heart attack, Schnarr began making public speaking appearances on behalf of Emergency Medical Services in an attempt to acquire more defibrillators in public places.
“About four years ago there were something like 42 AEDs around. The last count that I got there was 129 so it has really helped,” he said.
The tournament was won by the K-W Granite Ladies team, who beat Manulife Rocks by one point.
Megan Lacoursiere, program co-ordinator for Waterloo Region’s Heart and Stroke Foundation, was pleased with the outcome of the event.
“We are down in numbers this year but many of our curling teams are returning and they had a great time,” she said. “The volunteer committee worked very hard on this event for the last four months and their hard work paid off.”
Lacoursiere also said that about 4,300 people in Waterloo Region are hospitalized each year from heart disease and stroke-related conditions. The University of Waterloo also has four research teams which allows most of the money that is raised to stay in the region.
To donate to the Heart and Stroke Foundation visit www.heartandstroke.com.