SPRINGFIELD – The American Heart Association announced last week that Maria Goncalves, TD Bank's regional vice president and Ilda Panetta, TD Bank-Small Business Relationship manager, will lead the executive committee as co-chairs of the 2013 Western Massachusetts Go Red for Women Luncheon.
The fourth annual event will take place at the Log Cabin in Holyoke on Feb. 8, 2013.
More than 300 women and men are expected to attend the event, which includes educational breakout sessions, a silent auction, inspiring survivor speakers, a heart healthy lunch and keynote speaker, Dr. Ann. Dr. Ann is a renowned authority on nutrition, healthy living and disease prevention.
"Many people may not know the sad reality that one in three women will die from heart disease this year in Massachusetts, which equates to 18 deaths per day," Goncalves said. "It could be your friend, sister, mother or co-worker. The good news is that each and every one of us has the power to help change this statistic."
Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of American women, claiming almost 460,000 lives each year. With 64 percent of sudden coronary heart disease deaths in women showing no previous symptoms, the Go Red for Women movement is the American Heart Association's solution to save women's lives by building awareness and educating women on the power of making healthy choices.
"There is such a need for women to realize that they're in control of their heart health," Panetta said. "TD Bank is proud to be a local sponsor of the Go Red for Women Luncheon, and as co-chair I hope to further empower women to take charge of their health by making it a priority."
Serving as co-chairs, Goncalves and Panetta will lead recruitment efforts of volunteers, survivors, and business leaders to help raise more than $200,000.
Funds raised will go toward research and education to reduce disability and death from cardiovascular disease and stroke in Massachusetts.
Goncalves has worked in the banking industry for more than 25 years and is a regional vice president at TD Bank in Springfield. She serves as trustee of Springfield Technical Community College and has served as a director of the Center for Human Development for more than 18 years. She lives in Ludlow.
Panetta has worked for TD Bank since 1981 and is currently the Small Business Relationship manager. She also serves as a Ludlow Rotarian and has served on the board of directors for the Ludlow Community Center Randall Boys and Girls Club. She resides in Belchertown.
Women from all walks of life are encouraged to attend the Western Massachusetts Go Red for Women Luncheon and learn how to take charge of their heart health.
For more information on sponsorship or to purchase tickets, call Go Red for Women Luncheon Director Traci Heath at 735-2109, or go to www.heart.org/wmassgored
. Find out more about the Go Red for Women movement and heart healthy living at www.goredforwomen.org
or call 1-888-MYHEART.