Founder gives Heart Walk cancellation statement

Jeanette Rogers-Erickson at her final, 25 year anniversary, Heart Walk event with friends

Photo and story by Catherine Stachowiak

On the evening of Wednesday, May 22, Jeanette Rogers Erickson expressed the reasoning behind canceling the annual Heart Walk event, which she founded 25 years ago. 

She told the Kern Valley Sun that she motioned to stop the Heart Walk, at the Kern Valley Hospital Foundation (KVHF) board meeting, around March or April.  

On May 9, the treasurer of the executive board for the foundation, Deborah Hess sent a report for the Kern Valley Healthcare District board, which Chief Information Officer Cary Zuber read, announcing the issue. 

Rogers-Erickson candidly said, “I felt like because, and I am not saying this in boasting, but I am probably the primary one who goes out and gets the money because I’ve been doing it for so many years, from my contacts that I’ve had, from so many different years. And I can see that I’m not physically going to be able to keep on doing that for a long time. And I said ‘We celebrated 25 years. Let’s go out on a high note, while it’s still bringing in large amounts of money’ because as I am unable to go out and ask money for the Heart Walk, I’d like it to go out on a good note.”

Rogers-Erickson, who is also the KVHF founder explained that it was sometimes problematic to line things up just right, with regard to use of the school track and the auditorium, kitchen staff, and food sponsorship for the lunch that followed the Heart Walk. “There were a lot of components,” she said.

Rogers-Erickson has also been dealing with an illness within her family, and rather than allowing things to dwindle with the Heart Walk, she thought it was best to end it at the 25 year mark.  “Let’s just end it here and say, good job,” she said.

She also knew that she was not going to be able to do as much, next year, as she did this year, because she overly exerted herself to get everything done the last time she planned the huge event.  

At this time Rogers-Erickson is hoping the foundation would consider hosting a closing celebration for the Heart Walk.  She said, “I would like it to go out on a note of celebration. It was a job well done.  The foundation is looking forward to making an announcement of celebration.”

According to Hess’ previous statement, the Foundation was considering other options for a fundraiser to replace the annual Heart Walk event.

The Kern Valley Sun intends to continue following up on this story.