Visitors to the Somerset Mall on Friday morning were probably seeing red — and for a good reason.
Friday marked National Wear Red Day, an event to raise awareness of heart disease and its spread among women here in the United States.
In Somerset, it was a special occasion — the 10th Wear Red Day held locally. As such, sponsor Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital pulled out all the stops.
“This year, we’re doing it a little bit different — we’re playing birthday games,” said Susan Wilson, LCRH’s Director of Marketing and Community Relations, while at the event which lasted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the mall.
Included in that is a cake walk (a game in which participants walk around in a circle to music with the goal to win a prize), “Pin the Heart on the Bee,” and letting heart disease survivors bash a piñata for candy.
But heart disease is no game — it’s serious business. Wear Red Day aims to help it get the attention it deserves.
“Most of the time, women think about heart disease as being a man’s disease,” said Wilson. “(Studies) found several years ago that women weren’t aware of the danger that have as well.
“The truth is, heart disease is the killer of more men and women than anything else in the United States,” she added.
According to statistics from the American Heart Association (AHA), almost 1,100 women die per day in the U.S. However, because of National Wear Red Day, AHA states (at www.goredforwomen.org) that 34 percent fewer women have died from heart disease since 2003, and substantially more women are making lifestyle changes designed to help improve heart health.
Somerset’s Wear Red Day helped that cause by providing a variety of services allowing women to make themselves more aware of their own health. These include body mass index (BMI) checks, blood pressure tests, pulmonary function tests, and more. There were also neck and hand massages, nail painting, and plenty of goodies and door prizes.
In all, 45 different vendors had booths set up at the mall for the local Wear Red Day.
And although the women who showed up decked out in an array of red outfits and festive hats were the stars of the show, it wasn’t just for them.
“The purpose is to raise awareness and educate folks,” said Wilson. “There are lots of men here too who care about those women.”