Hearts united on Mother’s Day Weekend at the American Heart Association (AHA) Houston Go Red For Women Luncheon Friday, May 12. The 13th annual event celebrated the power of today’s woman–and the generations to come–under the leadership of Vicki and John Crum, who served as the first couple to chair the event. With the help of ABC13’s Gina Gaston and Ilona Carson, the Crums hosted an unforgettable afternoon that inspired a record-breaking number of guests to honor the heart health of the women in their lives and raise $1.1 million in the fight against heart disease and stroke.
“March to 100” was the rallying cry and call to action at this year’s luncheon. The 2017 campaign leadership team committed to recruiting 100 Circle of Red members to pledge at the $5,000 level this year, contributing to a larger gift of half a million dollars. The campaign is well on its way to reaching that goal, which would make Houston the first in the country to give at this level through Circle of Red. Individuals interested in joining in the movement and helping to put Houston on the map for accomplishing this feat can do so through June 30.
Joan Lunden was this year’s guest of honor and keynote speaker. Through sharing her own health journey and story of motherhood, Lunden inspired guests to take ownership of their health and become their own best advocates. As an award-winning journalist, bestselling author, motivational speaker and women’s health and wellness advocate, Lunden has been a trusted voice in American homes for more than 30 years. For nearly two decades, she greeted viewers each morning on Good Morning America, bringing insight to the day’s top stories.
Joining Lunden to share her own personal story of resilience was Kelly Nieto, a 40-year-old mother of three, karate black belt candidate and this year’s featured survivor. After a series of unexpected sudden cardiac deaths in the family, including her grandmother at 27 years old, aunt at 25 years old and mother at 19 years old, Nieto believes she is alive today because of the persistence of a woman who chose to be her mother, her adoptive mother, Brenda and because of research funded by the AHA. Nieto’s daughters joined her on stage as she thanked the AHA and asked the audience to give in honor of future generations.
Prior to the program, guests shopped, enjoyed makeup touch-ups by Dior, rode with CycleBar and commemorated the day with a Go Red selfie at the photo booth. Additionally, guests learned hands-only CPR, learned the signs and symptoms of a stroke and received health screenings at the event’s mission-related stations.
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