About every three minutes, a woman dies from heart disease, making it the number one killer of women today, according to the American Heart Association and its “Go Red for Women” campaign.
To help support this cause and raise awareness, Alpha Phi hosted its annual week-long “Take it to Heart” philanthropy, which informs students about cardiac health and donates the proceeds to the Alpha Phi Foundation, which then disperses the money.
Alpha Phi took advantage of the Feb. 1, national ‘Go Red for Women’ day, and used it to start their philanthropy. They encouraged people to wear red to support the national cause, said Sadie Hanigan, marketing vice president for Alpha Phi.
“We utilized the timing of the Go Red for Women day, and had people from houses who wore red check in and get points for the next week,” Hanigan said.
The week-long philanthropy consisted of daily events that other UI fraternities and sororities participated in to receive points that went toward their chapter. The winner will be announced on Friday at the final event, an ‘Eat Your Heart Out’ pie-eating contest, which will be held in front of Alpha Phi.
“The daily events were designed to help students become aware of how important it is to keep their heart healthy,” said Danielle Gamel, Alpha Phi philanthropy chair.
She said although heart disease is not something that will necessarily affect college students, it is still important to be conscious of its dangers.
“As students in college and being young, we’re not worried about heart disease, or even how it could potentially affect us,” Gamel said. “However, it could very well affect our parents and grandparents, which would affect us and our family now.”
Being aware of deadly heart disease is important, Hanigan said. As is understanding the risks prior to being diagnosed since symptoms vary in men and woman, according to “Heart Disease Statistics” from the American Heart Association.
“Most people don’t understand that cardiac disease is a silent killer,” Hanigan said. “It’s a huge deal in health care today, but it’s not common knowledge.”
In past years Alpha Phi’s philanthropy week ended with a poker tournament, due to timing issues it will be held during Dad’s Weekend, Gamel said.
Michelle Gregg can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org