Written by travel  |  23. September 2001

It's just a little three-mile hike on a Sunday afternoon, but it can help bring life to a child with a heart defect. The Third Annual Gift of Life Walk/Run began two weeks ago at the headquarters of Rotary International in Evanston, Illinois. Led by actor Chad Everett and Gift of Life Chairman Robert Donno of Manhasset, an intrepid band of volunteers is trekking 1,000 miles to raise funds to provide heart surgery for sick and needy children from around the world. Since its founding in 1975, The Gift of Life, Inc., a project of Rotary District 7250 of Queens and Nassau, has enabled 2,000 children from all over the globe to receive life-saving cardiac surgery free of charge. Participating hospitals range from St. Francis, North Shore and Stony Brook on Long Island, to Montefiore in the Bronx and Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Maryland. In 1981, the project received international attention when First Lady Nancy Reagan brought two children from Korea to St. Francis via Air Force One. Other children have come from Uganda, Poland, Russia, China, the Dominican Republic and the Philippines. The recent tragedy at the World Trade Center has steeled the resolve of the Gift of Life volunteers to help save the lives of innocent children, promoting good will and understanding around the world. Anyone who wishes to help on the last leg of the journey can join with the volunteers at 3 p.m. Sunday September 30, going the final three miles from Manhasset Valley Park to the Ronald McDonald House in New Hyde Park. For further information, call (516) 504-0830, or log on to www.gol1.com. Enjoy!

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