Over 240 people turned out for Marion County Go Red for Women. They painted the town red at the Circle Square Cultural Center, and this event to fight against heart disease in women included dinner, dancing and a silent auction.
Chairwoman of the event Dr. Hima Mikkilineni states, “It was an honor to serve as the 2018 chair for the Go Red for Women event. The event raised over $140,000 to fight the leading killer of women and men: heart disease. Funds raised will be used to do research, help with local schools to learn CPR and how to use AEDs, along with education to teach people to lead healthier lives through diet and exercise. A special thanks to all the local sponsors and the executive leadership team who put the event together.”
Paint the Town Red was a celebration for all the great work that Marion County did during heart month. Local businesses were highlighted for their important contributions. During the Open Your Heart Mission appeal, Patrick Plunkett was honored. The youth baseball player was hit in the chest by a line drive last year while pitching during a game. This caused his heart to stop on impact. With the heroic efforts of bystanders who performed CPR, he survived. Patrick’s amazing story shows the significance of knowing CPR. Attendees at the gala also had the option to practice their CPR skills with dummies that gave digital feedback to those practicing. A special thanks to Gator CPR for attending and helping.
The evening’s silent auction was a big success. There were great items for the guests to bid on, including a one-year membership to the newly renovated Country Club of Ocala, an official United States flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol Building on National Wear Red Day, a hand-crafted heart necklace designed by The Lady Jeweler of Ocala and many more items.
Paint the Town Red was locally sponsored by CVI, DeLuca Toyota, MRMC, Central Florida Health, Chandra Smiles Design, DOCs of Ocala, Ocala Cardiovascular Anesthesia Associates and Signature Brands. Heart disease and stroke cause deaths in one out of three women, which is more than all cancers combined. Heart disease is known as the silent killer of women, and there are things you can do right now to ensure a healthier heart. First and foremost, stop smoking or help your family members or friends stop smoking. It is also crucial to monitor your blood pressure and cholesterol. Eating healthier is a winning strategy, too, as is losing weight and exercising at least a half an hour each day. Almost 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes.
It is critical to know the red flags of a heart attack. Now is the time to educate yourself on heart health and to make lifestyle changes if necessary.