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Local College Park Youth Raises Funds for Cardiovascular Research at Morehouse School of Medicine | Community Spirit

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Local College Park Youth Raises Funds for Cardiovascular Research at Morehouse School of Medicine

Atlanta, GA-- Chalyse Ford has big dreams of someday becoming a professional dancer. Just 12 years old, the College Park resident has already accomplished more than many adults.  A 7th grader at Hapeville Charter School, Chalyse Ford is a dancer, walker, and yes, a philanthropist.  Lately, she has focused a lot of time on walking for a good cause--to raise funds to support cardiovascular research at Morehouse School of Medicine.

A member of St. Stephen Missionary Baptist Church in East Point, Ga., Chalyse has organized a walk-a thon for cardiovascular research at her church for the past two years, contributing more than $1,500 to MSM to benefit the Institution’s Cardiovascular Research Institute, a nationally recognized center of research excellence in cardiovascular science.

Chalyse’s interest began when she learned a church member experienced symptoms of stroke. Fortunately, the member took quick action and today is doing well. “I decided to have a walk for cardiovascular research. I knew people had walks to raise money to treat other diseases, so I wanted to do one for stroke,” said Chalyse. “I got a lot of help from my youth leader Minister Karen Ross, and from everyone.”

With the support of her pastor, Reverend Earl L. Calloway, Minister Ross, her mother, Ms. Alyssa Ford, her great-aunt, Ms. Rubia Ford, and others, Chalyse got started. She created flyers and church members registered to participate in the walk to raise funds. For St. Stephen’s first lady, Linda P. Calloway, it is no surprise that Chalyse took the lead in organizing the walk. “Chalyse is very energetic and spirited. She is always thinking of others, cares for people, and loves the Lord,” said Mrs. Callaway. “She volunteers and accepts responsibility. We are very proud of her.”

Approximately 50 church members and friends came together in March for the 1.7 mile walk in the St. Stephen community. Chalyse presented the 2010 gift to MSM at the church’s recent annual youth day.

Keeping in stride to continue raising awareness and showing the impact one person can make, Chalyse plans to host a third cardiovascular walk-a-thon next year.