Inaugural Rob Millisor Heart Health Walk comes to Carter Park June 11
Introducing a fundraiser for the heart, from the heart.
On June 11, Breckenridge Grand Vacations plays host to the inaugural Rob Millisor Heart Health Walk, a community 5K trail route and one-mile town route in honor of Millisor, the late BGV co-founder and developer who died of heart failure while on a humanitarian trip to Nepal in October.
“The price of friendship is very expensive, but it’s worth it to have a great friend,” said Mike Dudick, a fellow BGV owner and developer who knew Millisor for three decades. “I miss him, but I feel like I have an obligation to his memory, his children (and) his wife, Amy, to celebrate his life and help people remember that true inner goodness that Rob exuded.”
The June 11 event brings a full day of vendors, education, local grub and, of course, the two non-competitive walks to Breckenridge, all in the name of raising awareness about lifelong heart health. Millisor’s sudden passing was a shock to Dudick and just about everyone who knew him — the well-known Breckenridge local was otherwise healthy, with no knowledge of heart disease — and BGV organizers hope the day inspires everyone to take care of their heart: friends, family, acquaintances, even complete strangers.
“We wanted this to be for everyone, from dogs and toddlers to grandparents and great grandparents,” Dudick said. “This is an issue that, regardless of age, people should be aware of. There are so many opportunities to provide people so they can live longer, healthier lives.”
Registration for the RAM Heart Health Walk (as it’s known to BGV organizers) is $35 for adults and $20 for children (ages 11-17), plus another $5 for dogs. Groups of five can register for $140 total. If you can’t make the walk, BGV is also taking donations of any amount through the Classy.org fundraising page.
With any luck, Dudick and organizers hope the event builds momentum with teams of walkers, not only individuals who knew Millisor or have ties to BGV.
“The way we make this great is by finding new team captains who can build teams, build a group and just spread the word on their own,” Dudick said. “We want to create the momentum to make this a lasting event, and, if we have good momentum, this will become an annual thing to share with friends and family and neighbors.”
On walk day, things kick off at 8:30 a.m. at Carter Park — the heart of Breckenridge — with on-site registration and vendor tents. BGV reached out to a slew of local health and wellness outfits, from St. Anthony’s Medical Center to yoga studios and the Breckenridge Recreation Center, for fun and useful info on cardiac health. There will be cardiologists, blood-pressure tests, cholesterol screenings and more, with the entire vendor park open to anyone — even folks who don’t participate in the walks.
“We wanted to make this very family-friendly,” said Deb Edwards, program manager for the timeshare company’s philanthropic arm, BGV Gives. “Heart health doesn’t always have to be about running a marathon. It’s more about the active lifestyle and paying attention to your diet. You don’t need to be a super athlete to think about awareness and education. We wanted something that can involve the entire community.”
For athletes, the day truly gets underway at 10 a.m. with the 5K trail route start, followed at 10:15 a.m. with the one-mile in-town route start. Both walks are noncompetitive and open to participants of all ages.
Unlike most fundraisers — say, the nationwide Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure series — every last cent from race fees and donations goes directly to a new hearth health and education fund through The Summit Foundation, created in Millisor’s honor to support the cause. Dudick and Mike Millisor, Rob Millisor’s brother, personally paid the majority of expenses for the event.
After the walks, the day continues at 11:30 a.m. with live entertainment, a bounce castle, face painting and heart-healthy food from a cadre of local restaurants: Canteen, Fatty’s Pizzeria, Mi Casa, Hearthstone, and Park and Main, all of the Breckenridge Restaurant Association.
“The restaurant association is behind this in a big way,” Dudick said. “The food for the lunch afterwards is coming out of their pocket, and so even though Mike and I are helping to pay for the event, they are doing what they can to make sure the entry fee doesn’t go to food and drink.”
From start to finish, the RAM Heart Health Walk is built around Millisor’s philanthropic zeal, Edwards and Dudick said. Millisor often traveled the world to help others, including the trip to Nepal, and this event is just the latest in BGV’s lineup of fundraisers and other community events.
“I think this is a great way to honor Rob,” Edwards said. “He was incredibly dedicated and extremely humble. He did it from the heart.”
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