RUMFORD — A group of high school students and the local healthy communities coalition are teaming up to bring a double dose of healthy events to area residents on Saturday, May 15.

The first Healthy Hearts 5K Run/Walk kicks off at 11 a.m. from the River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition office at 94 River St. On the same date and at the same place, the Mountain Valley High School Peer Helpers will accept non-perishable food items to help dozens of elderly residents living in the River Valley area.

Right now, there are 54 senior citizens in the River Valley on the Commodity Supplemental Food Program waiting list, and another 150 in the southern Oxford area, according to a news release issued by the program.

Needed items include canned fruits, vegetables, meats and tomato sauces, spices, dry beans, pasta, rice, peanut butter and multi-grain cereals.

“It’s a good cause. The Peer Helpers prides itself on trying to help the community,” junior Katie Billings said.

The food drive will actually start at the high school next week. People may bring food into the school, to Kristen Provencher’s class then, as well as during the day of the race/walk.

Several of the Peer Helpers will also participate in the race/walk, including Sam Cummings, a sophomore who said she wanted to get in some exercise before gymnastics starts.

Registration for the race/walk begins at 9:30 a.m. and closes at 10:30 a.m. Advance registration costs $20 and includes a free T-shirt for the first 100. Those registering on the day of the race will pay $25. There is no fee for children age 10 and under. Among the pre-run/walk events are stretches by River Valley Zumba and EKG heart assessments by Med-Care Ambulance Service.

After the event, seedlings will be handed out, metals to the top three runners and certificates for the top three walkers, door prizes, food and “heart beat” bags filled with local offerings.

All proceeds will benefit the American Heart Association Heart Walk set for Sept. 18 at Hosmer Field in Rumford.

To register online, go to or call 364-7408.

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