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“Last year, our fifth annual, we raised the most we ever raised,” $48,000, said Sara Maloney, event chairwoman.
“This year, we exceeded that” by a large amount, she said.
Most of the 200 people who attended the sold-out luncheon at SunLand Golf & Country Club on Feb. 1 wore red in observance of the 10th anniversary of National Wear Red Day, a day set aside to raise awareness for heart disease.
This has become an important mission on the North Olympic Peninsula, Maloney said.
“Surprisingly, many people are still unaware that heart disease remains the No. 1 killer of women in this country,” Maloney said.
“There are many steps each of us can take to reduce our risk of getting this disease.
“Experts agree that education is key to eradicating this disease.”
Dr. Sarah Speck of Swedish Medical Center talked about heart disease prevention in her keynote address.
OMC patient Rhiannon Lang, a Port Angeles woman who suffered her first heart attack at the age of 33, shared her story to help raise funds during the “fund a need” portion of the luncheon.
Her talk prompted donations of $16,855, which will be used specifically to purchase disposable event monitors to assist in the diagnosis of arrhythmia, Maloney said.
Lang, who is now 36, had no risk factors and no family history of heart disease, yet she unexpectedly suffered a heart attack at a young age at her place of work, Maloney said.
Less than a year ago, she had a second episode, Maloney said, and now is under the care of OMC physicians.
“Her purpose was not only to tell her story, but to motivate people to take care of their heart health,” Maloney said.
The rest of the funds raised during the luncheon will go toward needs in the cardiac services department, Maloney said, adding that those needs have not yet been identified but that all money raised will stay local.