American Heart Association recognizes volunteers helping to improve the health of the north country

WATERTOWN, NY — Volunteers are truly what make the American Heart Association successful in funding lifesaving research, education, training, and advocacy programs in the North Country. Tuesday night, the association honored and celebrated the local “Heroes of Heart” at an awards recognition and celebration at the Ramada Inn in Watertown.

Over the years, hundreds of community members have dedicated their time, talent and passion to volunteering for the American Heart Association. Among the awards received were top North Country Heart Walk sponsors; media sponsors; fundraising companies, teams and individuals; survivor Inspirational Honorees; community volunteers; student fundraising through Kids Heart Challenge and more. The event also recognized the Executive Chairperson of this year’s North Country Heart Walk, Jamie Ganter.

The American Heart Association also honored the Volunteer of the Year. Mary Elizabeth Wratten is a longtime volunteer with the North Country Heart Walk and currently serves on the event’s Logistics Committee. She goes above and beyond to make the day a memorable, fun and inspiring experience. She is passionate about the American Heart Association’s mission and truly dedicated to volunteerism.

“We are so thankful to The North Country community,” says American Heart Association Regional Director Stacy Spaziani. “The generous support and dedication of our volunteers and leaders is what makes our lifesaving mission possible. I’m honored to work with each one of these incredible volunteers.”

North Country Heroes of Heart Awards

Volunteer of the Year Mary Elizabeth Wratten
Friend of Heart Wanda Minkler
North Country Heart Walk Chairperson Jamie Ganter
North Country Heart Walk Executive Leadership Team Chris Bastien

Heather Blair

Dave Daily

Rich Duvall

Brad Gydesen

Shawn Macaulay

Barbara Morrow

Nalene Muldovan

Mike Norstrud

Bryon Perry

Jason Tanner

Bruce Strough

North Country Heart Walk Logistics Chairperson Diana Mullen
North Country Heart Walk Logistics Committee Cara Aguirre

Nate Brown

Katrina Brown

Stephanie Decillis

Kollin Hardy

Victor Lee

Rebecca Mabry

Chrissy O’Connor

Dawn Robinson

Victor Wallace

Mary Elizabeth Wratten

Top Heart Walk Fundraising Companies 1st place – Samaritan Health Systems

2nd place – Carthage Area Hospital

3rd place – DC Building Systems

Top Heart Walk Fundraising New Company River Hospital
Top Heart Walk Fundraising Community Team 1st place – Rennie’s Rebels

2nd place – Team Cochran Heart & Sole

3rd place – Team Dominic

Top Heart Walk Fundraising New Community Team Bubba’s Heartbeats
Top Heart Walk Individual Fundraisers 1st place – Mike Cochran

2nd place – Jamie Ganter

3rd place – Shaun Macauley & Mike Norstrud

Heart Walk Inspirational Honorees Kelly Macutek

Adeline and Jada Ormsby

North Country Heart Walk Sponsors Signature sponsor: Knowlton Technologies

Kinney Drugs Foundation

Carthage Area Hospital

Samaritan Health Systems

AmeriCU Credit Union

Pala Wood Services

Stebbins Engineering and Manufacturing Company

DC Building Systems

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

Great Lakes Cheese


Slack Chemical

Sliders Food Mart

Community Bank

Washington Summit

Watertown Savings Bank


Carthage Federal Savings and Loan

Purcell Construction

Cheney Tire

North Country Heart Walk Media Sponsors Stephens Media Group and Froggy 97

Watertown Daily Times

7 News/Fox 28/MeTV.

Outstanding Performance in Youth Market Derek and Kristina Blake – Boonville Elementary


Ana Kelly – West Carthage Elementary School

Maxwell Simser – Sherman Elementary School

Mackenzie and Abigail Coffie – Ohio Street

Elementary School



About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies, and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.