Thursday, February 28, 2008

Go Red Luncheon

We've just celebrated our fifth year of Go Red luncheons, both in Arkansas, and around the country. My involvement with Go Red has been intense, and long term. It all began in 2000 when I founded Taking Wellness to Heart, my own 501c3 dedicated to women's heart disease awareness and education, as well as the acquisition and distribution of life saving Automatic Electronic Defibrillators. In September of 2000 I hosted my first "Heart Strong Woman" conference, at the Conway Regional Medical Center. We had over 250 ladies at that first event, all of which were given free cholesterol, blood pressure and bone density screenings. We had a number of vendors present, and I had invited the American Heart Association to set up a booth. Amanda Smith, Central Arkansas Heart Walk Director, was there that day, and heard me speak. That was the day I became a state spokesperson for the AHA. Amanda utilized me all over Arkansas for several months, and I was then given the opportunity to travel outside the state and speak to women's groups. Later that year Amanda, along with Missy Lewis (metro-executive director AHA), visited me in my office. They said "the AHA is working on a new movement aimed at women, and we want to pick your brain". That started a series of meetings where I was involved in the founding of Go Red, a movement that has now spread across the nation. It started as such a small idea, with individuals banding together to change the way the medical community and the public view heart disease and women, and now it is a well known movement with celebrity spokespersons and global companies sponsoring awareness. I am in awe of what has occurred with this little idea and some incredible brainstorming sessions. Of course, in no way do I want to imply I am in any way solely responsible for this incredible movement, but I am honored and humbled to know that my efforts and ideas had a small part in forming this life changing entity. I am also incredibly blessed to still be part of the speakers board, sharing my personal story through luncheons everywhere.
Five years into Go Red, and still going strong! Enjoy the photos of my most recent luncheons-February is full of them for me!