Think you’ll be seeing red on Feb. 2?

You can count on it!

The American Heart Association hopes to do with the red dress what the pink ribbon has done for breast cancer: make it a symbol of awareness. Red symbolizes the power of women investing in their heart health, and the support for all women whose lives have been affected.

In honor of the national Go Red For Women movement, the American Heart Association designated February 2, 2007 as “National Wear Red Day For Women.â€A specific date was chosen to honor and support all women who have been touched by cardiovascular disease, a devastating disease that kills more than half a million women each year, according to the American Heart Association.

“Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women,†says Barbara Ducharme, marketing director of the Twin Cities branch of the American Heart Association. “The American Heart Association wants to change this. When women see the color red and the red dress symbol, we want it to serve as a call to action.â€

On February 2, people and businesses will “go red†in support of cardiovascular disease prevention and awareness. Locally, many companies and organizations will be “dressed†in red, stores will have red displays, businesses will proudly show off Go Red window slicks, and Americans nationwide will be decked out in their best red attire.

HealthEast, Macy’s, and all five University of Minnesota campuses will have activities scheduled throughout the month focused around women and cardiovascular disease.

“The maroon and gold will go red throughout February for this important cause,†says Carol Barron, RN, a nurse coordinator with the University of Minnesota’s Women’s Heart Clinic. “There will be interesting speakers, health fairs, and seminars. We’re going to try to break the Guinness Book of World Records by forming the largest red heart using faculty, staff, and students. We’re also going to be making a 15 minute e-video to heighten awareness.â€

Macy’s will support Wear Red Day through sponsorship dollars, exclusive sales, fundraising events, and customer donations. Macy’s North, the Minneapolis-based division, will “go red†with custom-designed store windows, in-store visuals, and special events.

“Go Red is a cause that resonates strongly with us at Macy’s because 70 percent of our customers and employees are women,†says Michelle Mesenburg, divisional vice president of events and communication for Macy’s North.

Boston Scientific, 3M, and Medtronic will light up their campuses in red. Approximately 7,000 local Boston Scientific employees will be encouraged to wear red, and the lobby will have various items on display to promote women’s heart health. Banners will be hung around campus, and the outdoor flood lights will be replaced with red lights, says Annette Ruzicka, director of media relations for Boston Scientific.

The Minnesota RollerGirls will Go Red For Women at their bout at Roy Wilkins Auditorium on January 27, 2007.  Go Red information will be distributed to all women who attend that evening.  Some members of the Minnesota RollerGirls teams will sport the red dress, the symbol of the Go Red For Women movement, on their uniform helmets. The Minnesota RollerGirls are part of the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, a national governing body for female-only, skater-owned, flat-track roller derby leagues. For more information, visit www.mnrollergirls.com.

Show a little heart and help support this cause by participating in local activities and wearing red on February 2!  For more information on how you can Go Red, contact Barbara Ducharme at 952-278-7910 or barbara.ducharme@heart.org.

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