The American Heart Association’s Heart Walk will be held at UCF for the first time on Saturday, Sept. 7, and organizers are expecting about 18,000 participants on campus. Everyone traveling to or from UCF on Saturday morning should allow extra time and be aware of road closures and parking areas that will be inaccessible during the walk.

The goal of this year’s annual event is to raise $1.5 million to help fight heart disease and stroke in people such as 5-year-old Brandon Malaret, son of Stacy Malaret, director of UCF’s LEAD Scholars Program. She is participating in the walk to raise money to support research and prevention efforts, and to help children such as Brandon.

Before Brandon was born, an ultrasound revealed a hole between two chambers of his heart. Another heart problem was discovered after he was born. Because of two heart surgeries and exceptional care from local doctors and hospitals, Brandon is doing well today.

Malaret is one of nearly 500 UCF staff and faculty members and students participating in the walk. UCF participants have raised more than $42,000, exceeding the team’s goal of $35,000.

Heart Walk Festivities start at 7 a.m. on Memory Mall and the walk will begin at 8 a.m. Participants are encouraged to park in garages C, D or H. Pets will not be allowed.

It’s not too late to register for the Heart Walk. Click here to see a list of participating UCF teams. For event information, including a map of the route, click here.

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Allison Crouch at

Road Closures and Campus Parking

The Heart Walk route will cover the following roads, which will be closed from approximately 7:30 to 10 a.m.: the two inside lanes of the Gemini Boulevard loop, the two inside lanes of Greek Park Drive and all of East Plaza Drive and West Plaza Drive.

The two outside lanes of the Gemini Boulevard loop and Greek Park Drive will remain open to traffic, with all traffic moving one way in a counterclockwise direction.

From approximately 7:30 to 10 a.m., vehicles will not be able to enter or leave all parking areas inside of the Gemini Boulevard loop and along East Plaza Drive and West Plaza Drive. This includes all parking garages, as well as all C and D lots, most H lots and several B lots.

If you must leave campus between 7:30 and 10 a.m., please park your vehicle ahead of time in one of these lots: B5-B8, located along Gemini Boulevard South near Central Florida Boulevard; B12-13 and B15, located along Libra Drive; or H10, located adjacent to Lake Claire on Gemini Boulevard North.

If you will be arriving on campus between 7:30 and 10 a.m., you should plan on parking in one of those lots.

The campus entrances at McCulloch Road and North Orion Boulevard and at Gemini Boulevard North and Alafaya Trail will both be closed from 7:30 to 10 a.m. All other campus entrances will remain open throughout the day.

We will reopen portions of the Heart Walk route as it becomes safe to do so. We expect campus traffic and parking to return to normal no later than 10 a.m.

Please visit for a map of campus parking lots.