Thursday, February 6, 2014

Jacksonville: Men Go Red – Heart Ride

I may be apprehensive about getting on a motorcycle, but I have no qualms about talking about heart health! When the American Heart Association – First Coast Chapter invited Mrs. International, Amy Gregorio, and I to help them kick off the inaugural “Heart Ride Goes Red” I knew I just had to be there! This was a special event for many, many reasons.

First, as the American Heart Association is the official philanthropic partner of the International Pageants and Jacksonville is our new home what better way to start that relationship on the right foot (or wheel!). Second, the Go Red For Women campaign is typically viewed as a for women/by women initiative. Considering that Heart Disease and Stroke are the #1 killers of women each year (you know the stats, more than ALL cancers combined) it is SO important to share the awareness and strength with our mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, and friends. However, this particular event was hosted by a very special group – Men Go Red. The men in Jacksonville see the need for funding, research, and education to advocate on behalf of the women in their lives.

Even though it may have been a chilly day by Jacksonville standards, we were up bright and early and headed to Channel 4 and First Coast News to invite riders and residents alike to join us. Katie, the Communications Director for Jacksonville AHA, was such a fabulous guide and kept us on track and on schedule.

The event itself was fun, innovative, and thorough – a recipe for successful future Rides. We took photos with watchers, riders, and had a blast exploring the Adamec Harley Davidson store with “bikes” new and old.

With Thumper, the official mascot of AHA First Coast (best heart name ever in my opinion!)

Amy and I with Missy, the Adamec Social Media Expert – We LOVED our Harley Davidson jackets they picked out for us to wear for the day

This purple sparkly motorcycle was right up my alley and it went perfectly with my Miss International sash!

Michael Mayo, coordinator of the event and local hospital director giving introductory remarks

Spinning the Eagle Radio wheel for good measure

Some American Heart Association staff, bikers, and friends

Seek Happiness,

Jesse

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