More than 600 local women and men showed that “Life is Why” we fight against heart disease and stroke by being a part of Thursday’s 12th Annual Go Red For Women Luncheon and Festival of Red at the Oncenter Convention Center in Syracuse. The campaign raised more than $325,000. Those funds will be used to fight disability and death caused by cardiovascular diseases and stroke through research, training, advocacy and community education. Heart disease is not just a man’s disease. It is the number one killer of women. One in three women dies of heart disease and stroke.
The chairperson of the 2015 Go Red For Women Luncheon, Evelyn Carter, Director, Consumer Affairs for the Central New York Region of signature sponsor Wegmans Food Markets, has lead a year-round campaign to help raise awareness and generate funds in the fight against women’s greatest health threat. In her professional role with Wegmans, Carter works to ensure the customers are aware of the many healthy food options offered. She extended that philosophy to reach as many segments of the community as possible through the Go Red For Women campaign. “It has been an incredible year as Go Red For Women Chairwoman,” said Carter. “I am so proud of everyone involved in making this campaign a success. We are truly making an impact on the heart health of Central New York.”
The program also included heart disease survivor Leigh Pechillo. Leigh’s son Robby was born with a congenital heart defect and needed surgery at just nine and a half months old. A few years later, Leigh woke up on Mother’s Day with heartburn and couldn’t figure out why. She decided to go to the hospital just in case. While she was getting ready to leave she collapsed. Leigh suffered a heart attack. Now, her entire family helps raise funds and awareness for the fight against heart disease because they understand firsthand how important that fight is.
The morning’s Festival of Red offered several opportunities for attendees. Women could get health screenings in the M&T Bank Health Screenings area, get flu shots, visit the Tribute Wall sponsored by Kinney Drugs Foundation, have fun with social media at the Selfie Station sponsored by St. Joseph’s Health, and learn important heart health information.
Amy Robbins, of 93Q and Lisa Spitz, of CNY Central served as the emcees. They, and other speakers, shared lifesaving information about women’s health, and the impact the Go Red For Women movement is making.
Go Red For Women is nationally sponsored by Macy’s, and locally sponsored by signature sponsor Wegmans, Kinney Drugs Foundation, M&T Bank, St. Joseph’s Health, and media sponsors 93Q, CNY Central, Syracuse Woman Magazine, and Eagle Newspapers.