Monday, June 30, 2008

"Project Red Dress" 2008 a SUCCESS!

In slightly more than a week we will celebrate my mothers eighth birthday. Naturally, it isn’t her actual birthday, that day falls on April the 18th of every year. No, this birthday is the day we celebrate her successful open heart surgery, which bypassed three blockages in arteries of her heart. On July 10th we’ll mark eight years of life and love that we may not have had if she hadn’t received an accurate diagnosis in time. As a woman suffering from heart disease nearly a decade ago, she almost didn’t. Since that time I’ve made it my personal mission to make sure that every woman I have the opportunity to come into contact with has the weapons they need to protect themselves from the nations leading killer of women.

This last weekend I was so honored to speak to the group of ladies who assembled for the second annual “Project Red Dress” event. “Project Red Dress” is in conjunction with the “Go Red for Women” campaign. Designers from across the state and nation designed amazing red gowns, which were modeled in a fashion show. Winners were chosen from both a professional and amateur category, and each winner received round trip airfare to New York and tickets to the national “Go Red” fashion show. There were approximately 500 women in attendance, and I was thrilled to be able to share with them the mission of “Go Red”, and invite them to join the “You’re the Cure” network. I always speak about my mothers experience obtaining a diagnosis, and my own struggle to receive treatment. I am always overwhelmed by the response of the audience. Sadly, there are always attendees who share with me stories of their loved ones struggle to get an accurate diagnosis, for which there was no happy ending. It is my dream and mission to see to it that every woman gets the adequate care that is needed to insure that no one die an early and senseless death from heart disease.

You’ll also no doubt notice that I am wearing a banner in these photos. I am so excited and honored to be Mrs. Southeast International 2008. I will be leaving for Chicago on July the 14th to compete in the 2008 Mrs. International pageant. Mrs. International really embodies all that is good and of value in married women’s pageantry. Mrs. International is a woman of high moral fortitude, integrity, passion, drive and honor. This incredible organization has partnered with the American Heart Association, and has chosen "Go Red For Women" as their national platform. Having been involved in "Go Red" since it's inception I cannot imagine a better opportunity to promote both organizations which hold such a special place in my heart.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Meeting with Incoming Speaker Wills

This email just came in from our Lobbyist Leader, Barbie Kumpe;

"Laine and Dan, I wanted to ask both of you to attend a meeting with incoming Speaker Robbie Wills. I will be calling to set up an appointment with him to discuss our issues for the coming session. I don’t have a date but would like for both of you to go with me. Can you let me know if you are willing and then I will try to set a meeting with him. I know it will depend on the date and time if you can go but you both are my first choice for attending.

Barbara Kumpe

American Heart Association/American Stroke Association

South Central Affiliate/Arkansas

909 West Second Street

P.O. Box 1610

Little Rock, AR 72203

Toll Free - 866.877.5883 Ex. 4134

Little Rock Directline - 501.379.1182

Cell - 501.951.2992

Fax - 501.375.9066"

This is extremely exciting, as we are getting a head start on the upcoming legislative session. Any time there is such a huge shift in the legislative body as we will experience this session it is imperative that we have the ear of those officials. I'll keep you posted on this meeting, and the upcoming Advocacy group meeting!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Help Us Help You!

Every voice is important, but there is strength in numbers. The more You're the Cure advocates we have talking to their elected officials, the better our chances of successfully pushing heart-healthy policies. Do you know someone affected by heart disease or stroke? Is a friend or colleague passionate about these issues? Please encourage your friends, family and colleagues to join the You're the Cure network!

Congress: Help Saves Lives in Schools!

Each year 166,000 Americans suffer a sudden cardiac arrest outside of the hospital. Sadly, more than 95%, die before reaching medical care. But a simple device and some basic training on how to respond in these emergency situations can help prevent tragedies.

Right now, legislators are considering an important bill — the Josh Miller HEARTS Act — which would establish a grant program to help schools pay for automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and training. The bill was prompted by the tragic death of 15-year-old Josh Miller who suffered sudden cardiac arrest at a high school football game. It recognizes the importance of providing schools with the equipment and training necessary to save the lives of children and adults in the education community as part of an overall medical emergency response plan.

Quick application of proper CPR and defibrillation can make a difference and save lives. This bill would establish a grant program to help your schools purchase AEDs and provide training for their use, for cases of sudden cardiac arrest on school grounds.

Tell your lawmakers to help make our schools safer for everyone by supporting the Josh Miller HEARTS Act today!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Laine and Kevin Kick off Heart Ball planning for 2009!

Planning for the 2009 Heart Ball began yesterday with a bang! It is hard to believe it has already been a year since we started planning for the ’08 event, but time seems to fly when there is so much to do. Kevin and I were honored to serve on the ’08 Auction Board for the event, and we along with the other 8 members of the board were successful in raising over 1.1 million dollars for the American Heart Association in ONE EVENING! That is a huge number to try to duplicate, especially in these difficult economic times when giving to charitable organizations is down across the board. However, we will continue undaunted! We hope to up our overall giving at the event to 1.6 million for 2009. We are once again lead by the incredible Carol Dyer, whose hard work and dedication to this event has made it the largest in the nation. Our small but determined board is ready for the 2009 challenge! I’ll be keeping you posted on our progress.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


The childhood obesity rate has now reached epidemic proportions in our country. With overweight children at greater risk of developing heart disease as adults, it is imperative that we, as a nation, take steps now to reverse this trend. Please join me and urge Congress to support the FIT Kids Act.

Tell Congress that we consider the health of our children a priority – send your message today!

By 2010, 20% of U.S. children are expected to be obese. While many factors have contributed to this alarming rise in overweight children, one of the main culprits is a decrease in the physical activity levels of today’s youth.

The FIT Kids Act (The Fitness Integrated with Teaching Kids Act) addresses this specifically, seeking to amend the No Child Left Behind Act to ensure the quantity and quality of physical education in our schools is recognized.

But to get this critical piece of legislation passed we must reach out to our legislators and impress upon them the importance of making our kids health a priority … and that is where people like you come in.

If you haven’t already, please contact Congress right away.

It is imperative that our kids take part in regular physical education and learn to live healthier lifestyles, in order to reduce health risks including cardiovascular disease. Please don’t wait- join us in this critical effort and speak out for a healthier generation.

Friday, June 13, 2008

15 Minutes to TAKE ACTION!!


As we draw near the end of our fiscal year, I wanted to personally thank you for your hard work and dedication to our mission. Your efforts directly impact the lives of so many. Cures that seemed impossible yesterday are possible today because of your unwavering commitment to our strategic impact goal of reducing coronary heart disease, stroke and risk by 25% by 2010.

Within the final days of this fiscal year we still have much work to do, and I would like to call on you for one final push to reach our affiliate goals.

Please join me on Monday, June 16 at 11:45 a.m. to be a part of "15 Minutes to Goal!"

"15 Minutes to Goal!" is a unique opportunity for staff and volunteers to simply take a short 15-minute break to:

Tips: Call and recruit your friends, family, companies, vendors, volunteers, alliances, survivors, and caregivers. Ask each of them to recruit at least three people for you. Refer to our Go Red For Women e-mail template and our program benefits document for ideas.

Imagine reaching our affiliate goals in just 15 minutes. As Jim Collins, author of Good to Great states, "Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline." Your commitment and determination to see this goal through will raise the South Central Affiliate from good to great. I look forward to reporting great results from the South Central Affiliate at our next Board of Directors meeting.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Action ALERT!! Your voice CAN make a difference!

Heroes aren’t born, they’re trained. This week is National CPR/AED Awareness Week. Now is the perfect time to educate lawmakers on the importance of having Automated External Defibrillators in public places, as well as training the public to use them and become heroes. The good news is the Arkansas Legislature passed a bill requiring an AED for every school in the state. However, no funding was made available so many schools lack these life saving devices. Please urge Arkansas lawmakers to make this funding a top priority when the legislature reconvenes next year. The American Heart Association strongly supports public access to AEDs for many reasons including: -Each year, more than 250,000 people suffer cardiac arrest, usually away from a hospital. More than 95 percent of them will die, in many cases because defibrillation occurs too late to reverse the cardiac arrest. -Every minute that passes before returning the heart to a normal rhythm after a cardiac arrest causes the chance of survival to fall by 10 percent. -In public places and schools where strong Public Access to Defibrillation (PAD) programs have been implemented which includes the placement of AED’s, survival from cardiac arrest has significantly improved. Thanks for your support! Laine

Monday, June 2, 2008

Nominated for L'Oreals "Woman of Worth" award

I am so honored to be able to share with you that I have been nominated for a L'Oreal "Women of Worth" award! This is one of those rare occasions where the nomination is as important as the award itself. Sherri Higgs of Texas, someone very special to me, who has followed my 8 year  volunteer career, nominated me for this very special honor. It is such a blessing to know that I have touched one persons life to such an extent that they find me worthy of this honor. Thank you Sherri for your faith in me and my work!

Dear Mrs Laine Berry,

Sheri wants to let you know that you have been nominated for the L’Oréal Paris 2008 Women Of Worth Award!

Here it is!!!

About The Women Of Worth Award

For over 30 years, “Because I’m Worth it” has been used by L’Oréal Paris to
celebrate Women Of Worth. As a progression of this philosophy, L’Oréal Paris has created the Women Of Worth Community. A continually growing group of
extraordinary women who are helping connect the personal commitment,
community and well-being of women.

Enlighten us about a Woman of Worth whose volunteer work is making a
beautiful difference in your community.

Nominate her and she could be awarded a donation of $2500 to support her
most cherished cause. And you’ll be a part of building L’Oréal’s ever-growing

Women Of Worth Community. L’Oréal Paris will make an additional $2500 donation in
the name of each of our winners to support the Ovarian Cancer Research
Fund (OCRF). To date, L’Oréal Paris has raised over $13 million on behalf of OCRF
to honor their commitment to women. Join L’Oréal Paris’ Women Of Worth
Community today. Because We’re All Worth It!

Visit to learn more L’Oreal Paris’ Women Of Worth