Sussex County bands together to help eliminate heart disease and stroke

More than 150 people decked out from head to toe in red are expected to gather Oct. 26, 2023, at Sussex County’s annual Sussex Go Red for Women event at Atlantic Sands Hotel & Conference Center in Rehoboth Beach. The brunch and fashion show raise awareness and help fund the fight against heart disease and stroke, which claim the lives of 1 in 3 women.

The Go Red for Women event is one of the nation’s premier events for the American Heart Association, devoted to a world of healthier lives for all, and the signature fundraising event for its Go Red for Women movement. Patricia Sandy, Sussex Go Red for Women co-chair, has been leading this event for the community in honor of her son who died as a young man due to a heart attack.

Patricia Sandy

“Working with the American Heart Association has been a wonderful way to help others,” Sandy said. “The funds we raise will help families have more memories with their loved ones and I can think of no better way to honor my son.”

The event is also co-chaired by Tom Trobiano, executive director of cardiovascular and neuroscience services at Beebe Healthcare.

“We’ve made tremendous progress over the years, but cardiovascular disease is still the No. 1 killer of women, claiming more women’s lives each year than all forms of cancer combined,” Trobiano said. “This is an event many people and companies across our city look forward to every year and the cause we’re supporting and the funds we’re raising is as important now as it has ever been.”

Tom Trobiano

Women, especially Black and Hispanic women are disproportionally impacted by heart disease and stroke and research shows heart attacks are on the rise in younger women.[1] Yet, younger generations of women, Gen Z and Millennials, are less likely to be aware of their greatest health threat, including knowing the warning signs of heart attacks and strokes.[2] That’s why it’s important for all women to take charge of their heart health and encourage others to do the same.

Guests will rally at the heart-healthy brunch around a goal to raise $40,000, which will help advance women’s health through research, education, awareness and advocacy initiatives.

Blood pressure screenings and a silent auction will begin at 10 a.m. Brunch will be served at 11:30 a.m., followed by the program at 12:45 p.m. and fashion show at 1:10 p.m. Dr. Steven Marra, cardiovascular surgeon with Beebe Healthcare, will be the event’s featured keynote speaker.

Go Red for Women is nationally sponsored by CVS Health and the Sussex Go Red for Women event is locally sponsored by Premier sponsors Preston Automotive Group and Beebe Healthcare; and local sponsors WSFS Bank, Fulton Bank, Hertrich, Delaware Electric Cooperative, State Farm – Jeanine O’Donnell, AccentCare, and more. For additional information, contact Karen Gritton at 302-381-6426 or