There is nothing out of the ordinary about seeing a sea of red on the first Friday in February at Valley Central. For the past 12 years, Valley Central School District has held a “Wear Red Dress Down Day” on “National Wear Red Day” to raise money to support the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign. What is unique about this year is the fact that not only did the staff of the district donate the highest amount of money ever raised in a single year ($2,116), they also brought the district’s lifetime donation amount past the $20k mark. After this year’s collection the district has donated a whopping $20,130 to the AHA since 2006.
National Wear Red Day is part of the Go Red for Women campaign, an initiative sponsored by the American Heart Association to raise awareness about heart disease in women. According to the Go Red for Women website, heart disease and stroke are responsible for one in every three deaths of women, but education and lifestyle changes can prevent cardiac events in a significant number of cases. The awareness movement aims to “inspire women to make lifestyle changes, mobilize communities, and shape policies to save lives.” Each year, on the first Friday in February, people across the country don red and donate money to the cause.
In September 2016, the American Heart Association named Valley Central as one of the top “Wear Red Day” districts in the state of New York, and presented Janine Maridou, Valley Central’s Registrar, with the 2016 Outstanding Achievement for Wear Red Day plaque. For the past 11 years, Ms. Maridou has coordinated the district-wide event.
“I am so grateful for all the many people who came together to make this happen,” Ms. Maridou said. “Particularly for our Valley Central nurses, who spend an inordinate amount of time organizing the event in each of their buildings and collecting all the donations. Every year, I am so grateful for their help and cooperation.”