UNION — The effort to raise public awareness of the threat heart disease poses to women was the subject of a series of live broadcasts by WSPA Channel 7 from Union Friday morning.
WSPA Channel 7 Reporter Christine Scarpelli and WSPA Channel 7 Photojournalist Ryan Goodman were at Main Street Junction on Main Street in downtown Union Friday morning interviewing local residents, officials, and businesspeople about the community’s support of National Wear Red Day, the Paint the Town Red Project, and Heart Awareness Month.
Beginning at 4:50 a.m. with a presentation by City of Union Mayor Harold Thompson on the city’s National Wear Red Day proclamation, the Channel 7 team interviewed a succession of local individuals who spoke about both their activities supporting National Wear Red Day and Heart Awareness Month and their personal stories about their experiences and/or that of their family members and friends with heart disease.
Also taking part in the live broadcasts was Melissa Youngblood, Union County Spokeswoman for the 2017-2018 Go Red for Women Campaign, who spoke about the “Paint the Town Red Project” in Union. Youngblood, who is also Media Information Technology Director of The Union Connection Cable Channel 192, also spoke about being the survivor of not one, but two heart attacks.
The Paint the Town Red Project is part of the efforts of the Go Red for Women Campaign and the American Heart Association to promote public awareness of the threat heart diseases poses to women. The project provides the businesses and other organizations in the community with the opportunity to help raise public awareness of heart disease in women by decorating their storefronts with heart health-related information and imagery. Participants are also entered into a contest to see which one did the best job painting the town red.
Another aspect of this campaign was National Wear Red Day which was this past Friday with the public urged to wear red to help promote awareness of heart disease in women. Many people, including Youngblood and the other persons interviewed live by Channel 7, wore red on Friday.
Other participants in the live broadcast were:
• Donya Sumner who talked about losing her mother to heart disease.
• Toccoa Switzer of the Piedmont Physic Garden who about the Heart Healthy Workshop the garden will host on Saturday, February 24.
• Union County High School teacher Jeff Stepp who talked about his heart issues including having open heart surgery. This segment also featured the UCHS cheerleaders.
• Foster Park Elementary School teacher Amy Truitt who talked about a special study her class is doing about Jim Dine, a heart specialist, and also about a special healthy choices arts night at the school later this month; and Monarch Elementary School teacher Kelli Shugart who will be talking about several activities the school has been doing this week for Heart Awareness Month.
• Jean Capps who talked about the decorations her business, Shear Class Styling Salon, has put up for the Paint The Town Red Project; about her church having a wear red day this past Sunday; and about a cousin she lost to a heart attack and some special friends she recently lost.
• Jay Allen of Midway BBQ who talked about a heart healthy dish offered by the restaurant.
• Ashley Campbell and Kathy Youngblood of the Union County Department of Juvenile Justice who talked about what they are doing and their personal connections to heart attack and stroke. (Mrs. Youngblood is the mother of Melissa Youngblood.)
While National Wear Red Day is over, Heart Awareness Month is not and neither is Paint the Town Red and, sadly, neither is the threat of heart disease. For more about the struggle to promote public awareness of heart disease and the threat it poses to women and the Union community’s response to the call for greater public awareness of that threat, see upcoming editions of The Union Times and online at our website (www.uniondailytimes.com) and our Facebook page.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.