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Clifton Park hosts a picnic with heart

After Amanda was born with the same problems that Jessica had, Samuels and his wife decided not to have any more children. Amanda's twin brother, Jake, was born without any heart problems.

Sonja Seeloff, an administrative assistant for the American Heart Association, helped organize the event.

"It means something going to work every day. You know you're working for a good cause. You're saving lives," Seeloff said. "There's so much research that still needs to be done and advancements that can happen."

Since she has only been with the American Heart Association for a few months, Sunday's picnic was the first event Seeloff attended.

"Both of my grandparents passed away from heart disease, so coming into the heart association was a great opportunity for me to get more involved in the community," she said. "A lot of people depend on our funding."

The American Heart Association was founded in 1924. In 2006, the national organization spent almost $700 million on research, education, and community services. Its main fundraiser, the annual "Heart Walk" takes place locally in Albany on Oct. 13 at the Harriman State campus and on Oct. 20 at Saratoga Race Course.

For information, call 869-4042 or visit the Web site at www.americanheart.org.

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