Since 2006, Valley Central School District (VCSD) employees have known that if you walk into any district building on the first Friday in February, you are likely to walk into a sea of red. For the past 11 years, under the organization of VCSD Central Registrar Janine Maridou, and with the help of each building’s school nurse, district employees have been invited to participate in the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign by making a donation to the cause, and wearing red on the first Friday in February as a visible sign of solidarity and support for women struggling with heart disease.
The number of district employees participating in the campaign is so great, that the district was named as one of the top “Wear Red Day” Districts in the state of New York and was presented with a 2016 Outstanding Achievement for Wear Red Day plaque. Last year, between all seven buildings the district raised $2,067. Since 2006, the district has collectively raised $18,014.
National Wear Red Day is part of the Go Red for Women campaign, an initiative sponsored by the American Heart Association to raise awareness about heart disease in women. According to the Go Red for Women website, heart disease and stroke are responsible for one in every three deaths of women, but education and lifestyle changes can prevent cardiac events in a significant number of cases. The awareness movement aims to “inspire women to make lifestyle changes, mobilize communities, and shape policies to save lives.”
“On behalf of the American Heart Association, I would like to extend my gratitude to Ms. Maridou and the entire Valley Central School District,” American Heart Association’s Hudson Valley Director of Youth Marketing Events, Amy Irwin, said. “Your collective dedication to the Go Red for Women campaign is impressive and so very much appreciated.”