The 2018 Go Red For Women Luncheon, held on its snow date of March 20, attracted 550 guests at the Holiday Inn By the Bay in Portland to support the American Heart Association (AHA) in Maine’s mission to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. The 2018 Crystal Heart Awards were presented to two honorees: Bill Caron, President of MaineHealth, and Pat Weigel, President & CEO of Norway Savings Bank.
The AHA’s premier annual event focuses on women’s heart health and urges both men and women to take action to prevent or survive the No. 1 and No. 5 killers of women—heart disease and stroke. Event sponsors, individual donors, and auction bidders together raised close to $340,000 to fund research and help educate Mainers on how to prevent these diseases.
A video was unveiled highlighting the survival stories of four Maine women who were selected as part of a Go Red Casting Call. “The Go Red Casting Call held last fall helped us reach scores of women throughout the state,” said David Landry, President of Spectrum Healthcare Partners, who sponsored the Casting Call. “It was a tough job narrowing down the search to four finalists who will serve as the official Go Red Spokeswomen in Maine during the next 12 months.”
The Go Red Maine spokeswomen are: Jill Dolby Marsh, a postpartum cardiomyopathy survivor, of Scarborough; Brook Stocks, a stroke survivor, of Milbridge; Catie Thibodeau, a stroke/endocarditis survivor, of Kennebunkport; and Beth York, a heart disease survivor, of Orr’s Island.
Sarah Belliveau, Principal with BerryDunn, shared her story of surviving a stroke. “I’ve always known of and respected the AHA’s work, but never really made a connection between their work and my life until my stroke,” said Belliveau. “My husband is an avid listener of talk radio. He had heard stroke awareness PSA’s and immediately recognized all the classic signs of a stroke and when he called 9-1-1, he told the operator he thought I’d had a stroke. The medical protocols researched and developed in partnership with the AHA both saved my life and gave it back to me.”
As part of the event’s educational offerings, three breakout sessions were held: “Staying Active and Keeping Your Heart Healthy”, presented by John Colianni, MD, RMSK of Martin’s Point Health Care; “Understanding the new Blood Pressure Guidelines,” presented by Dr. Aline Iskandar of Maine Medical Partners/MaineHealth Cardiology; and “Learning the Lifesaving Skills of Hands-Only CPR,” presented by Richard Veilleux of MaineHealth.
The Go Red For Women campaign is sponsored nationally by Macy’s and CVS Health. Major local sponsors are: Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, the statewide Maine Goes Red sponsor; MaineHealth, the Signature Sponsor; Spectrum Healthcare Partners, the Casting Call Sponsor; WEX, the Red Couch Tour Sponsor; Martin’s Point Health Care, a Breakout Session Sponsor; and Norway Savings Bank, the AED Awareness Day Sponsor.
Additional sponsors include: Bank of America; Direct Travel; Maine Heart Center; MEMIC; OceanView at Falmouth; Morgan Stanley Wealth Management; People’s United Bank; TD Bank; and University of New England. Media sponsors are The Forecaster, Channel 8 WMTW, Mainebiz, Maine Women Magazine, and WPOR FM.
For additional questions or to find out how to become a Go Red volunteer or sponsor, please contact Katie Rooks, Go Red Luncheon Director, at 207-289-2388 or Katie.Rooks@heart.org.