Written by Rachael Wolfenden and Janine Roberts

– In 2004, the American Heart Association (AHA) faced a challenge: cardiovascular disease claimed the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year, yet many women dismissed it as an older man’s disease. To dispel the myths and raise awareness of heart disease and stroke as the leading cause of death for women, the AHA created Go Red For Women®, a passionate social initiative designed to empower women to understand heart disease and take action to reduce their personal risk.

Janine Roberts, a Senior Account Manager who has been a part of our FORCE family for 10 years, has been involved in the Greater Central Indiana affiliate of the Go Red For Women initiative since 2009. She supports the annual February luncheon and the annual Indianapolis Heart & Stroke Ball, both of which raise awareness and drive funding for cardiovascular disease. Janine works on theme creation, messaging, branding, and the creation of event materials like save-the-dates, menus, website graphics, event signage, and sponsorship banners. She has also assisted with floral, table, and stage décor.

The annual luncheon will take place next Friday, February 16, and Janine is looking forward to interacting with the women who will be in attendance. She has discovered that the congregation of over 1000 successful women, some of whom will be experiencing the event for the first time, is empowering and reaffirming.

Janine was first recommended to the AHA Director of Corporate Events by her husband, who worked in the Franciscan Health Heart Center. After the success of her first event, the affiliate asked her to contribute to the Indianapolis Heart & Stroke Ball and other fundraising events. Her designs even reached other affiliates, who then asked for her help. But Janine’s involvement is based on more than skill alone. Her grandmother had 4 triple bypass surgeries in her lifetime and eventually succumbed to death by stroke, and her mom has high blood pressure and hypertension. But because of organizations like Go Red For Women, Janine can be equipped to support her mom and take steps to prevent the heart disease that runs in her family.

Janine is passionate about non-profit work and urges others to give time, talent, and financial support as they are able. She praises Macy’s, Go Red For Women’s national sponsor, for their involvement in raising awareness. Janine notes that they sponsor a Wear Red Day every February and sell red pins in exchange for a percentage off a purchase. The AHA provides a host of online tools that describe heart attack and stroke symptoms so that women can spot signs and seek treatment before a life-threatening event occurs. Fundraising and donations are always welcome, and Go Red For Women is always looking for volunteers to serve on the auction committee. The Indianapolis Red Dress Dash takes place each February and invites men and women to don red dresses and heels and run around Monument Circle, and the Indianapolis Heart Walk in September allows participants to raise money and walk downtown on a Saturday. Want to learn more about Go Red For Women and heart health? Visit the Go Red For Women website at https://www.goredforwomen.org/.

Thanks for all you do, Janine!