Volunteers share their personal passion for supporting the Heart Association
The American Heart Association’s (AHA) 10th annual Go Red For Women Luncheon will take place on Thursday, January 26 at the Sheraton Burlington Hotel and Conference Center. With a theme “Change Starts Today”, the luncheon will feature educational breakout sessions, a silent auction, exhibits, inspirational guest speakers, and a heart-healthy lunch.
This event aims to empower women with knowledge and tools to reduce their risks for heart disease and stroke--and protect their health. Dr. Philip Ades, Medical Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation and Preventive Cardiology and professor of Medicine at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, is the event’s keynote speaker. Dr. Ades’ expertise is in cardiac rehabilitation, stress testing, hyperlipidemia, ischemic heart disease and preventive cardiology. He has devoted his career to researching the value of exercise for the treatment and prevention of heart disease and has developed exercise protocols that improve clinical outcomes in older women and overweight patients with heart disease.
Two educational breakout sessions will be offered. Kim DuBrul, a Certified Life Coach, will provide insights on how attendees can identify their strengths to get more out of their lives. Brierley Wright, Nutrition Editor at Eating Well Magazine, will present on healthy changes women can make in their diets.
This year’s Go Red For Women Co-Chairs are Deb Loughlin, Principal with OneDigital, and Julie Braun, Financial Planning Specialist and Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. Braun became involved with the AHA in 2015 after having a heart attack while pregnant with her daughter. Getting involved with awareness and fundraising campaigns that not only saved her life, but her daughter’s as well, was something very important to her.
Teresa Voci, from Randolph Center is involved with Logistics and Circle of Red. She was inspired to join the team when she realized how many family members have been affected by cardiovascular disease.
“I was a guest at last year’s event and during the presentations kept thinking of my in-laws,” said Voci. “My father-in-law died of a heart attack, my mother-in-law died of coronary artery disease, my sister-in-law had open heart surgery to repair a hole and my other sister-in-law had a stent placed. I made a personal contribution with money left to me by my parents as they believed and taught us that we should use this money for good causes. Given my love for my in-laws and the connection to heart disease, I felt Go Red For Women was the perfect donation.”
Sydny Spear of OneDigital is the volunteer event manager and her company is the Social Media Sponsor. She joined Go Red For Women to “honor all the beautiful women in my life.” Additional Go Red For Women volunteer committee members include: Malory Lea, attorney with Dinse, Knapp & McAndrew and Kim Anderson, Associate Director of Community Relations and Development for the Community Health Centers of Burlington. “Go Red For Women helps to get the word out about the importance of beginning healthy behaviors at a young age,” said Anderson.
Kathryn Towle is the Vermont Mission Chair and the Auction Committee Chair this year. Kathryn found out that her son had a Ventricular Septal Defect and had open-heart surgery at only 7 months old. She wishes to continue to support heart research because such research is what helped save her son’s life.
Michelle Johnston, a member of the Logistics Committee, is a sudden cardiac death survivor of almost 7 years. “I first started volunteering when I spoke at my first luncheon in January 2011,” said Johnston. “Since then my goal is to instill a heart-healthy lifestyle in people of all walks of life, and to implore them to learn CPR. I try and give people hope through my survival that living healthy is possible through making small changes each day of your life whether its drinking an extra glass of water, cutting out extra sodium, taking walks and doing some form of exercise or eating healthier. Heart-healthy change is possible as you only have one heart, one life, live it!”