Having fun at the luncheon!

More than 600 local women and men showed that “Life is Why” we unite to fight heart disease at Thursday’s Go Red For Women Luncheon, held at the Oncenter Convention Center in Syracuse. The year-round Go Red movement raised $370,000. 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 2017 Go Red For Women Luncheon, Meg O’Connell, Executive Director of the Allyn Foundation, has spent the last year helping to raise awareness and funds in the fight against women’s greatest health threat. “The community support and awareness of Go Red For Women is amazing to me,” said O’Connell. “I’m proud to Go Red and be part of the movement to unite against heart disease and stroke. Together, we have the power to prevent these deadly diseases.”

Jean Phillips shared her story

The program also included heart disease survivor Jean Phillips. Jean had a quadruple bypass about one year ago. Her friend knew something was wrong and encouraged Jean to go to the doctor, saying she “wouldn’t take no for an answer.” Jean had surgery about a week later.

The morning’s keynote speaker was Dr. Suzie Mookherjee, a CNY native who now works at Albany Medical Center as an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Cardiology.  Mookherjee spoke about authenticity and uniting to help each other be the best versions of ourselves.

Before the luncheon program, the Festival of Red offered several opportunities for attendees. Women could get moving with the popular Silent Disco, visit the Tribute Wall, get a flu shot, see Red Dress Fashion provided by Macy’s, visit the “50 Shades of Red” lip color demonstration, have fun with social media at the Selfie Station, 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 CVS Health, and locally sponsored by Loretto; Farone & Son Funeral Home; Kinney Drugs Foundation; Stickley, Audi & Co.; Wegmans; Auburn Community Hospital; Bristol-Myers Squibb; Cardiovascular Group of Syracuse; St. Joseph’s Health; and media sponsors 93Q; CNY Central; Syracuse Woman Magazine; and Eagle Newspapers, with special gratitude to the Allyn Foundation for its support of Go Red For Women.

Chairwomen Meg O’Connell, Executive Director of the Allyn Foundation, with AHA Executive Director Franklin Fry and Go Red For Women Director Trina Tardone

AHA Founders Affiliate Executive Vice President Heather Kinder, Founders Affiliate and Syracuse board member Dr. Uzma Iqbal, Founders Affiliate board member and luncheon Keynote Speaker Dr. Suzie Mookherjee, and Founders Affiliate board president Bill LaForte