What: 2020 Fort Worth Go Red for Women Luncheon
Where: Omni Fort Worth Hotel
The 411: In what became one of the last big fundraising events of spring — before coronavirus concerns cleared the calendar of all gatherings — Tarrant County business leaders, philanthropists, volunteers, and survivors united in the fight against heart disease and stroke. The annual Go Red for Women luncheon benefiting the American Heart Association raised $920,000 and counting.
More than 400 attendees created a sea of red at the Omni hotel. The crowd of women in all shades of red dresses (and some brave men, too) helped raise awareness and funds for research and education programs to fight cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in women.
Before the luncheon began, guests took part in health screenings provided by Texas Health Resources, hands-only CPR training, women’s health education opportunities, and a silent auction.
Cami Thompson, executive director of the Fort Worth division, welcomed the guests into the ballroom. “Go Red for Women strives to inspire and empower women to take charge of their health,” she said. “While nearly 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented, cardiovascular disease continues to be a woman’s greatest health threat. We’re thankful to the Fort Worth community for uniting to improve women’s heart health and making an impact in the fight against heart disease and stroke.”
In addition to enjoying a scrumptious, heart-healthy lunch, attendees heard from some remarkable speakers.
During the "Open Your Heart" presentation, heart survivor Meredith O’Neal talked about how, in 2018, she suffered a life-threatening aortic dissection at 37 weeks pregnant. She underwent two emergency surgeries where physicians at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas saved her and her baby, Geoffrey. By knowing her family history, she was able to seek medical attention immediately, which ultimately saved her life, she said. She was joined onstage by more than 20 survivors, who earned a standing ovation and rousing applaud from the crowd.
Pilot Amelia Rose Earhart took the stage as the keynote speaker. Earhart, who became the youngest woman to fly around the world in a single-engine plane when she recreated and symbolically completed the 1937 flight of her namesake, empowered women to embrace the challenges and turbulence in their lives. (Who knew that message would soon become so relevant for the world?)
Karen Thornton and Sharon Stufflebeme were the chairs of the Fort Worth Go Red for Women movement and luncheon, respectively. The organization is already looking forward, with optimism, to next year's event.
Who: Tiffany McDonald, Gaylan Hendricks, Shawna Hendricks, Dr. Larissa Rolim, Traci Bernard, Karen Adams, Jenni Lanier, Linda Valdez Thompson, Evelyn Siegel, Rosalyn Rosenthal, Barclay Berdan, Becky Tucker, Lenetra King, Dr. Nina Asrani, Mary Robinson, Joseph DeLeon, Margaret Ford, and Gary Ford.