Jeanne Hall of Halls Chophouse and staffers from the local American Heart Association broke out the red paint last week to get a jump on promoting Heart Awareness Month and the Go Red for Women campaign in February.
Hall, who lost her father to a heart attack in 1964 when he was only 52, and her husband, Bill Hall, are avid supporters of the Heart Association and the first of nearly 65 King Street corridor businesses participating in the association's "Paint the Town Red" event.
The event is the first of dozens of Heart Awareness Month festivities to be held in February.
Today through Friday, heart disease survivors and other volunteers will be painting red dresses and hearts on storefront windows. Some clothing stores will go a step further and deck out mannequins in red clothing, says Robyn Reese of the Charleston-based affiliate of the American Heart Association.
Hall says she hopes the campaigns will encourage people, particularly women, to pay attention to their heart health. "This is the most important thing we have to do in the month of February. It's very, very important. Everyone has to listen to their heart and it's why we need to start every morning with a walk," says Hall, noting that heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States.
"Unfortunately, we (women) don't listen to ourselves because our kids are crying, or someone has a temperature, or we have to pick them up at school, then we've got to go to soccer practice. We're so busy with our lives that no one is paying attention to what's going on in their bodies," says Hall.
Friday marks National Wear Red Day, when both women and men are urged to wear red to raise the local and national conversation about heart disease and how to prevent it, recognize it and treat it. Some local restaurant staffs not only will be wearing red, but will offer a heart-healthy special on their menus.
At 11 a.m. Friday, people are invited to join the staff of the Medical University of South Carolina in forming a massive human heart at the Ashley River Tower, 25 Courtenay Drive. Even babies in the delivery room will be in the spirit, donning red hats knitted by "It's a Stitch" on Johns Island for the cause.
Thursday: "Girls Night Out!" Free Heart Health screenings, catered dinner and live music. 4:30-7 p.m. at Trident Medical Center, North Charleston; also "Women and Heart Health, Love Your Heart" Speakers: Dr. Christine Case, Dr. Scott Woodfield. 6-7 p.m. To make a reservation, call 797-3463.
Feb. 9: "How Strong is Your Heart?" What symptoms should you be looking for? What tests should you ask your doctor for? A light lunch included, noon-1 p.m. at Trident Medical Center, North Charleston. To make a reservation, call 797-3463.
Feb. 9: Roper St. Francis Healthcare’s “Families for a Healthy Heart” presents “The ABCS of Preventing a Heart Attack,” 6-7:30 p.m. at East Cooper Community Outreach in Mount Pleasant. Seating is limited and registration is required. Call 402-2273 or visit www.rsfh.com/healthyfamilies.
Feb. 11: Go Red! Heart 5K Run & Walk in Memory of Robin Seay will be held at Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina Pavilion at 9 a.m. Fee is $30 for adults and $20 for children. Wear red or even a red dress. www.muschealth.com/goredrun.
Feb. 12: S.C. Stingrays "Go Red" at their 4 p.m. game at North Charleston Coliseum.
Feb. 14: The open house for recently renovated and expanded Roper Cardiac Wellness and Rehabilitation Center, the entrance of which is on Courtenay Drive near Calhoun Street, will be 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The event will include free blood pressure and blood sugar screenings, as well as a heart healthy cooking demonstration in the center's new kitchen.
Feb. 15: Cardiovascular Risk Awareness free screenings (peripheral artery disease and atrial fibrillation) 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital. Register by calling 402-2273.
Feb. 16: "Time for a Valve Tune-Up?" Learn about the symptoms and treatment for leaking valves. A light lunch will be served. Noon-1 p.m. at Trident Medical Center, North Charleston. To make a reservation, call 797-3463.
Feb. 23: "Having a Heart Attack? Act Fast!" Learn why calling 9-1-1 is so important and what steps are critical during these first few seconds of a heart event. A light dinner will be served. 6-8 p.m. at Trident Medical Center, North Charleston. To make a reservation, call 797-3463.
Feb. 24: Heart Healthy Living Class 9 a.m.-noon at the Roper Cardiac Rehabilitation Center. $10. Register at 724-2993.
Feb. 25: Roper St. Francis Healthcare's "Families for a Healthy Heart" presents “Hypertension-How to Shake Your Salt Habit,” 10-11:30 a.m. at East Cooper Community Outreach in Mount Pleasant. Seating is limited and registration is required by calling 402-2273, or visiting www.rsfh.com/healthyfamilies.
Feb. 26: Pet Helpers, the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women Campaign and MUSC Heart & Vascular Center team up for "Paws Go Red," 1:30-3:30 p.m. James Island County Park, Wappoo Shelter. $1 entry fee. Event includes heart health screenings for dogs and owners, a Go Red Dog Walk, Pet & Owner Photos by Laura Olsen Imagery, Go Red Costume Competition and more. Contact 795-1110 or LLipsey@pethelpers.org.
Reach David Quick at 937-5516.