February is all about hearts and not just valentines. It’s American Heart Month, a time when people are encouraged to focus on their cardiovascular health. Mercy Health Foundation Southeast Ambassadors recognize the importance of heart health awareness and being proactive in helping people manage heart disease.
The Ambassadors will host a Wine and Chocolate Pairing on Saturday, Feb. 17 at the Cape Girardeau Country Club, with proceeds benefiting the foundation’s Heart Strong Fund. The event begins at 6 p.m. and will feature live music, hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction, wine pull and house-made dark chocolates with wine pairings.
“Heart Strong funds are used to help provide essential supplies for people with congestive heart failure and allows us to donate Automated External Defibrillators (AED) to church and community groups,” said Amanda Baert, Ambassadors president. “For congestive heart failure patients, keeping track of their daily weight is crucial. Even small fluctuations in weight may be due to retaining fluids or weakening the heart’s function. Many patients cannot afford a reliable scale, so the Ambassadors provide them at no cost.”
“Sudden cardiac arrest is a killer,” Baert added. “An AED is the most effective treatment for restoring a regular heart rhythm during a sudden cardiac arrest outside a hospital where most of these incidents occur. Almost 90% of these cardiac arrests outside the hospital are deadly. If a defibrillator is used within five minutes, the survival rate increases to 50%. AEDs are truly lifesavers.”
Since Mercy Health Foundation Southeast started the program in 2016, it has awarded AEDs to 53 groups throughout southeast Missouri.
“With programs like these, Mercy Health Foundation Southeast makes a lasting impact, right here, close to home,” Baert said.
Wine and Chocolate Pairing tickets are $50 each and are available online at sehfoundation.org/winechocolate. For more information, call the foundation at 573-519-4924.