Twin City mayors to promote walking

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AUBURN — The mayors of Auburn and Lewiston will participate in the American Heart Association’s National Start! Walking Day on Wednesday, April 7.

A news conference will begin at 11 a.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn, Auburn Riverwatch, followed by the opening of the walking path at 11:30 a.m., with a 30-minute walk. The public is invited to walk along.

Speaking at the event will be Susan Keiler, chief operating officer at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center and 2010 Central Maine Heart Walk chairwoman, Auburn Mayor Richard Gleason, Lewiston Mayor Laurent Gilbert and Jonathan P. LaBonte, executive director of the Androscoggin Land Trust and Lewiston-Auburn Trails.

National Start! Walking Day is the American Heart Association’s day to call upon employers and employees to incorporate 30 minutes of walking into their day. The AHA in Maine is working with the cities of Lewiston and Auburn as well as Maine workplaces to commemorate the day and to encourage area organizations to become heart-healthy places to work.

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The latest Start! “Fit Friendly” companies in Maine — recognized nationally by the AHA for promoting physical activity and health in the workplace — will be announced. The cities of Auburn and Lewiston are two of only seven Maine organizations to have been awarded this status to date and only two of five cities in New England to have received this designation.

The news conference will conclude with a brisk 2.5-mile walk around Maine’s first official Start! Walking Path. The AHA worked with the Androscoggin Land Trust to certify the first official Start! Walking Path, which is part of the LA Trails System. A map of this path is listed on the AHA’s national Web site at www.startwalkingnow.org along with Start! Walking paths across the country.

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