On Friday, May 18 Houston’s Go Red For Women Luncheon was hosted at The Post Oak Hotel, raising more than $1.8 million to fight heart disease and stroke, the No. 1 and No. 5 killers of all Americans. Campaign Co-Chairs Roberta Schwartz, Executive Vice President for Houston Methodist Hospital and Rachel Clingman, AHA Board member, led the effort.
The Houston Go Red For Women Luncheon, focused on a “Let’s Unite” theme, urging women to join with family, friends, co-workers and others to champion women’s heart health and to encourage each other to take the time for doctor’s visits, blood pressure checks and other key activities. Nearly 600 attended the luncheon this year, making it the biggest luncheon to date. During the luncheon, Clingman announced that thanks to generous donations from key benefactors, Houston will soon have a self-standing CPR Kiosk training station that will train tens of thousands once placed in a high-traffic areas.
Those who joined or renewed their Circle of Red membership at the Cor Vitae giving level received a $1,000 gift certificate from de BOULLE Diamond and Jewelry and the first 10 contributions of $5,000 were matched by 2019 Houston Go Red For Women Chair Hallie Vanderhider. News Anchor Gina Gaston and Traffic Anchor Katherine Whaley emceed the event, and Gina led the group in a moment of silence for those affected by the Santa Fe ISD school shooting just a few hours earlier. Two Houston businesswomen, Regay Hildreth and Temika Jones, took center stage in the survivor video for the event and received a standing ovation. They met at a networking event and Jones talked about surviving open heart surgery and Hildreth listened hard, all too aware of her family’s struggle with heart disease. When a routine checkup showed that Hildreth too needed open heart surgery, the two reconnected and their stories illustrate the power of what happens when women and men unite against heart disease and stroke.
The Keynote Speaker for the Houston Go Red For Women luncheon was Alison Levine, a heart survivor and a history-making polar explorer and mountaineer. She served as team captain of the first American Women’s Everest Expedition, climbed the highest peak on each continent and skied to both the North and South Poles—a feat known as the Adventure Grand Slam, which fewer than forty people in the world have achieved. In January 2008, she made history as the first American to complete a 600-mile traverse from west Antarctica to the South Pole.
Guests enjoyed a fun, upscale pre-event shopping expo, health screenings, hands-only CPR demonstrations using a state-of-the-art CPR Kiosks as well as the “Find Your Shade of Red” make up experience courtesy of Macy’s. Beautiful red and white rose floral decorations were provided by HEB. The event was sponsored nationally by Macy’s and CVS Health, and locally by Houston Goes Red Sponsor Texas Medical Center. Other top Go Red For Women Sponsors are Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center and Houston Methodist Hospital.