SPRINGFIELD – The American Heart Association (AHA) recently had a search to find inspirational women to become the next Go Red Leading Ladies of Western Massachusetts. Dozens of women were nominated and 24 were selected to become Go Red ambassadors in their community as well as to be featured in a poster campaign. The women were chosen based on their commitment, support and experience with heart disease.
All of the 2013 Go Red Leading Ladies participated in a professional photo shoot and are now featured on a poster that will travel throughout Western Massachusetts bringing attention to the leading cause of death in women – heart disease. The names of the ladies were announced on Wear Red Day, Feb. 1, and the poster was unveiled at a special ceremony, which recently took place at the Basketball Hall of Fame, which glowed red for the occasion.
"This year we are so pleased to have 24 inspiring ladies who represent women of all ages, backgrounds, and lifestyles," Mary Ann Burns, AHA director of Communications, said. "Some women are heart survivors; others have made changes in their lives to become more heart healthy, inspire other women or just simply understand her risk for heart disease and are taking steps to become more heart healthy."
Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women, yet most women do not know that it is mostly preventable. The Go Red Leading Ladies poster will travel throughout Western Massachusetts over the next 12 months raising awareness so women may learn and live. Some of the Leading Ladies will also raise awareness of women's heart health by attending or volunteering at local Go Red For Women events.
The 24 women live or work in Western Massachusetts and range from moms to entrepreneurs, health care specialists, heart survivors, retirees, and business leaders.
The American Heart Association is pleased to announce the names of the 2013 Go Red Leading Ladies of Western Massachusetts are Karen Boyd of Holyoke, Nancy Brose of Amherst, Brigid Demers of Easthampton, Connie Dragon of Westhampton, Amy Driver of South Hadley, Michelle Edwards of Springfield, Maria Garrity of Windsor Locks, Conn., Maria Goncalves of Ludlow, Barbara Gresham of Springfield, Rhonda Hall of Springfield, Dawn Jarrell of Chicopee, Susan Jaye-Kaplan of East Longmeadow, April Major of Springfield, Patricia Midwood of Westfield, Jackie Morgan of Agawam, Kate O'Donnell of Holyoke, Ilda Panetta of Belchertown, Suzanne Parker of Amherst, Barbara Paulo of Chicopee, Ericka Prew of Hatfield, Carla Santia of Agawam, Susan Seslar of Westfield, Cherylann St. John of Springfield, and Bonnie Woods of Holyoke.
The poster was photographed by Denise Smith, owner of Denise Smith Photography of East Longmeadow, who donated her time to shoot and design the poster.
Heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases kill more women each year than the next five causes of death combined, including breast cancer. Go Red For Women raises awareness of heart disease and empowers women to reduce their risk by learning the steps to prevent it. Go to www.goredforwomen.org
for more information on the Go Red For Women movement, tips for healthy living, to sign up for Go Red, healthy recipes and more.