LIMA — The Lima Symphony Orchestra is inviting area women to wear their red clothing and join them at noon Tuesday at Veterans Memorial Civic Center downtown for a group photo to raise awareness of heart disease, the No. 1 killer of women.
“We are asking that women wear a true red, no pink and no pattern. It can be a red sweater or a red jacket paired with black pants or black skirt,” said Elizabeth Brown, executive director of the Lima Symphony Orchestra.
Photographer Michael Ayers will take the photo promptly at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday.
“This is the fourth year we have done this. I believe there used to be a Go Red campaign that pre-dated us. Since the Heart Association chapter left Lima, there wasn’t anyone calling attention to this,” Brown said. “The reason behind this is that February is heart month. Lima Memorial Health System and St. Rita’s Medical Center have excellent heart facilities and we are so lucky having them in Lima.”
The Lima Symphony Orchestra will use the photograph in conjunction with its Musical Landscapes concert held at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Civic Center. The February concert has long been underwritten by Lima Memorial Health System and St. Rita’s Medical Center, and is joined this year by Webb Insurance Agency Inc.
Brown is passionate in her plea to get women involved in this photograph and in the awareness campaign.
“Sometimes people hesitate. We have more and more people in this picture and more people will see this photo, and hopefully raise awareness of heart disease,” Brown said. “This is the No. 1 cause of death in American women. It affects everyone in this country. We really want to help get the message out. We want to tell people not only wear your red and have your photo taken, but follow through. Do all things to keep your heart strong and healthy.”
Heart disease causes one in three death of women each year, according to the American Heart Association. That’s approximately one woman every minute. The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement advocates for more research and swifter action for women’s heart health for this very reason.
In 1997, the American Heart Association commissioned a national survey to assess the awareness and knowledge of heart disease risk among women. Researchers then determined that only one in three women correctly identified heart disease as the No. 1 killer of women. Since that time, the American Heart Association has worked to increase women’s awareness of heart disease, such as by launching the Go Red For Women campaign in 2003. As of 2012, the number of women who know that heart disease is their leading cause of death has nearly doubled.
Caring for your heart through a healthy diet and regular physical activity as the secret weapon to preventing heart disease, the American Heart Association says. The real preventative power lies with changes to your lifestyle, which can reduce the risk for heart disease by as much as 80 percent.