HeartChase Tri-Cities Returns to Richland on Saturday - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

HeartChase Tri-Cities Returns to Richland on Saturday

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HeartChase Tri-Cities is back for the third time this weekend and there is still time to sign up. HeartChase Tri-Cities is back for the third time this weekend and there is still time to sign up.

RICHLAND, WA - HeartChase Tri-Cities is back for the third time this weekend and there is still time to sign up. It's a fundraiser for the American Heart Association and for one local woman, the event hits close to home.

"Elijah wouldn't be here today if it wouldn't have been for the research that the heart association sponsors," said Debbie Ronfeld.

Her grandson was born with a heart defect so rare, there isn't even a name for it.

"It took a team of doctors all around the world and very, very new developed technology that kept him alive and in his situation, he will be relying on the continued development of technology and the great things the American Heart Association does to keep him going," Ronfeld said.

HeartChase Tri-Cities is one way the organization raises money. Locally, the event raised the third most amount of money in the nation the last two years.

"Being a third year event, we have teams that are coming back for their third year and they just get more strategic in how they maneuver the course," said organizer Kimberly Becker.

The course is Amazing Race style where teams of up to five people navigate ten checkpoints of health and wellness challenges on a smart phone app.

"Along the way, they also look for QR codes that are hung in the trees or on the ground to earn additional points. So it's a 'smart' game. They want to get as many points as they can in the time frame that is allotted for them," Becker said.

"Thank you to those people for being willing to do that, for our cities and our town to be willing to do that, to help save lives. One of those being our Elijah," Ronfeld said.

The starting point is at the Richland Community Center and you can still sign up there on Saturday morning between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. The suggested donation for a single team is $100.

The course runs between the Community Center and Kadlec Regional Medical Center but the specifics are a secret until the app goes live at 10 a.m.
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