Women to take over Kilcawley for good cause

On April 20th hundreds of women will crowd Youngstown State University’s Kilcawley Center to promote health and wellness, marking the eighth annual 300 Sisters in Red event.

Sisters in Red encourages heart health among women. The color red comes form the national symbol for heart awareness, which is a red dress. Roughly 300 women participate in the event.

Participants will see presentations on heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. They can also partake in fitness and yoga classes, and enjoy a healthful lunch. The event will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Joan Boyd, a professor of health professions at YSU and chair of 300 Sisters in Red, said she expects the program to be a success.

“We have the whole Kilcawley Center. That’s how big 300 Sisters in Red is,” Boyd said. Boyd said many women in the community do not have health insurance, but added that 300 Sisters in Red offers free tests for diabetes and high cholesterol, and provides breast cancer screenings.

Boyd said McDonald’s would also make contributions to 300 Sisters in Red.

“McDonald’s is a cheap, quick way to get a meal, and many people don’t know that they now provide healthy options on their menus,” Boyd said.

India Harris, a YSU senior, volunteered at last year’s 300 Sisters in Red event. Harris said she looks forward to helping with the event again.

“It is a really great program,” she said. “It’s nice to see women come together to promote a good cause. I love it.”

Boyd said she does not just encourage health at the 300 Sisters in Red event, but that she is committed to health throughout the year.

“We give them all this information in Kilcawley and tell them all about their health risks, but we want to make sure that they are applying what they have learned from this program,” she said. “So, we have outreach programs, [and], like, three months later, we have them come back. It’s like a follow-up.”

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, St. Elizabeth Health Center and the American Heart Association are sponsors for this year’s 300 Sisters in Red.