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Hudson Valley Press

March 7th, 2012

Go Red For Women luncheon draws more than 450 women

Anita Peeples Jones (center) and members of the BetterU Challenge Program are introduced and celebrated at the 4th annual Go Red For Women Luncheon at the Grandview on Friday, March 2, 2012. More than 450 women, mostly dressed in red, attended.
Poughkeepsie - More than 450 women, mostly dressed in red, attended the Dutchess-Ulster Go Red For Women Luncheon at the Grandview in Poughkeepsie on Friday, March 2nd. The event - part fund raiser, part awareness - celebrated the 12 women BetterU Challenge participants for completion of their 12 week heart health makeover.

This life-affirming and inspiring luncheon is part of the American Heart Association’s campaign to raise awareness among women and provide them with tools to reduce their risk for heart disease and stroke - the number one and four causes of death among women.

The BetterU Challenge provided the 12 participants with free gym memberships at Gold’s Gym, free health testing and health seminars in addition to online resources.
“The program reached it’s objective to help prevent heart disease in women,” said Tonya Addy, American Heart Association Executive Director, “More than 80% of heart disease in women can be prevented by lifestyle changes similar to what the BetterU participants committed to for twelve weeks. We encourage all women to join BetterU online at”

BetterU participant Dawn Keefe was selected by her fellow challengers for the grand prize - a year membership at Gold’s Gym. The participants all nominated someone who they thought embodied the spirit of the BetterU program - someone who was inspiring, community-minded and helped others change for heart health.
The luncheon program featured educational breakout sessions, an interactive heart check-up, and “It’s in the Bag,” a unique auction featuring sophisticated handbags, wallets and accessories. Internationally recognized stand-up comedian and inspirational speaker Kelly MacFarland presented a keynote address. MacFarland was a contestant on the “Biggest Loser” season one and is an inspirational wellness speaker, coaching individuals about self acceptance.

Events like the Go Red For Women Luncheon help fund the life-saving work of the American Heart Association including public and professional education programs, awareness, advocacy and research. The AHA is currently funding 372 new and continuing researchers in the eight-state Founders Affiliate for a value of $82,732,146.
Heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases (CVD) are the number one cause of death in American women, claiming about 432,000 lives each year, or nearly one death each minute.

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