Sunland Golf & Country Club’s banquet room was flooded with a sea of red Friday afternoon as 200 people packed the sold-out Red, Set, Go! Heart Luncheon.
The fourth annual heart health lunch, sponsored by the Olympic Medical Center Foundation, raised $38,000 to benefit patients receiving treatment in the cardiac services department of Olympic Medical Center. Last year a record $48,000 was raised, with $20,000 designated for a communitywide automatic external defibrillator program. The event has raised a combined $143,000 over its four-year history.
Nearly everyone attending the luncheon wore red, which is the color representing the battle against heart disease. The event was created to educate women about the dangers of heart disease as well as to raise money for treatment.
Gift baskets of chocolate, wine, coffee, tea and items encouraging exercise were raffled to raise money.
At the start of the luncheon Rhonda Curry, an assistant administrator with OMC, asked two-thirds of the audience to stand up and look at the remaining audience members. Those remaining seated represented the women who would get heart disease, she said.
Chairman Sara Maloney said hypertension was chosen as the topic of the luncheon because it is a “silent killer.”
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women in the United States and hypertension or high blood pressure is a risk factor in the disease, keynote speaker Pamela Payne said.
Payne, a family nurse practitioner at the Jamestown Family Health Clinic, said her grandmother, mother, sister, daughter and herself all have hypertension.
“We as women spend our time caring for others and it’s time we care for ourselves,” she said.
Payne encouraged women to get motivated to exercise more — 30 minutes at least five times a week — and watch what they eat to prevent hypertension.