As part of a national awareness initiative, the American Heart Association is hosting the Go Red for Women Health and Wellness Extravaganza and Luncheon Feb. 2 at the Miner Baptist Church to educate women on improving cardiovascular health.
"The American Heart Association started this as a way of raising awareness that heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death for women," said Heather DeWitt, chairperson for the event. "Through this campaign, our goal is to empower women with the knowledge and tools they need to make positive lifestyle changes that will help reduce their risk of heart disease."
The event is also being held to raise funds to support further research by the American Heart Association, she added.
The event opens at 11 a.m. with a health fair in the church's gymnasium.
"Quite a few participants will be doing health screenings and providing health-related information," said Lori Fowler, communications chairperson.
The luncheon meal by Trisha's Catering will be served at noon in the church's concourse area. DeWitt recommended coming about 15 minutes early.
While heart disease is a serious concern, the event will be upbeat. "We want it to be fun," DeWitt said, "a break from the norm."
Door prizes, including a Brighton Go Red for Women necklace, will be given out during the event and a silent auction will take place for 15 purses, valued at about $100 each, that were personalized and donated to help the event.
The keynote speaker will be Dr. Rotonya McCants, a physician for the Ferguson Medical Group.
"She will talk about heart disease and the impact it has on women's lives," Fowler said.
McCants will also discuss ways to prevent, mitigate and recognize heart disease. "Sometimes the symptoms can be a little bit different than those seen in men," DeWitt said.
Go Red for Women is a relatively new initiative both locally and nationally. "The American Heart Association initiated Go Red for Women in 2004," DeWitt said. "Cape had their first luncheon in 2005. We were going to do one in 2005 but it was too rushed so we decided to wait until 2006."
DeWitt and Fowler said even though there are already many worthy causes embraced by the local community, they hope Go Red for Women will become an annual event for this area with more people getting involved every year.
"The community has been very generous in supporting this so far," DeWitt said.
"We just hope to improve on it every year," Fowler said.
Some invitations were sent to get the word out about the event but aren't needed to attend and all are welcome.
"It's geared toward women," DeWitt said, "but men can come if they want."
The cost is $25 per ticket. Tickets are available at Curves, Area Properties Real Estate, DeWitt Embroidery, First Security State Bank and US Bank or by contacting DeWitt or Fowler.
Health Facilities Rehab and Managed Care Inc. are the local presenting sponsors, although "we have other generous businesses who have contributed and will be recognized," Fowler said.
Go Red For Women is sponsored nationally by Macy's and Pfizer with additional support from the PacifiCare Foundation and Bayer Aspirin.
For more information, contact DeWitt at 573-620-4495 or Fowler at 471