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April 10, 2008 - The American Heart Association Goes Red for Women!

What: American Heart Association's 2008 Go Red for Women Education Day and Luncheon

Where: INVESCO Field at Mile High

When: Thursday, April 10, 2008

Time: 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $150 individual ticket, $2,500 Passion Table,$5,000-$75,000

Beneficiary: Heart Disease

Mistress of Ceremonies: Jennifer Wilde, morning co-host Alice 105.9 and Bazi Kanani form 9News

Honoree(s): Special Guests: Dawn Nakamura Kessler, Sheri Foote, Tracey Conway, all survivors of heart disease

Gala Chairperson(s): Debbie Welle-Powell, Vice President Exempla Healthcare

Welcome: Dan Oftedahl, Colorado Market President for Humana

Speaker: Tracey Conway, Emmy award-winning actress, comedian and writer

Catering: Epicurean Catering

Sponsors: Media Sponsors: 9News, Alice 105.9, KOSI 101, Colorado Expression Magazine Sponsors: The Mountain 99.5, KEZW, Exempla Healthcare, Humana, Kaiser Permanente, Exempla St. Joseph Hospital; National Sponsors: Macy's, Merck

Quote of the evening: "Love your heart. Fall in love deeply with your heart." Tracey Conway

Menu: Chinois salad with chicken, rustic Epicurean breadbasket, gourmet dessert bars, strawberry lemonade

Attendance: 300

Attire: Red!

Special Thanks: Daniel Ruacho, Julie Peterson- survivor and former Mrs. Arvada, Ms. Frances Owens- former First Lady of Colorado, Denise Plante - KOSI radio and Colorado and Company


Blacktie Photos by: Billie Rommes

 Debbie Welle-Powell, Go Red for Women chair, (l) Donna Boreing and Brenda Lambert, MBA RNBC, Chief Executive Officer, South Denver Cardiology, 2009 Heart Gala chair
Debbie Welle-Powell, Go Red for Women chair, (l) Donna Boreing and Brenda Lambert, MBA RNBC, Chief Executive Officer, South Denver Cardiology, 2009 Heart Gala chair

Do all of the women in your life know that heart disease is their No. 1 health threat?  It kills nearly half a million women each year at the rate of about one per minute.

The Go Red For Women education event and luncheon was held on Thursday, April 10th to bring awareness to heart disease. Over 300 attendees, dressed in the Go Red signature color of... RED, arrived at Invesco Field to support this cause. The morning session featured health screening and interactive exhibits. There were also a number of heart-healthy breakout sessions with guest speakers.

Also throughout the event, attendees were able to bid on a large selection of silent auction items. The many guests were then invited to join together for the luncheon program. The room was decorated with red tables, red flowers and red centerpieces. It made for a very lively room filled with energy. Bazi Kanani from 9News and Jennifer Wilde from Alice 105.9, co-mistresses of ceremonies for the luncheon, greeted the crowd and welcomed them as everyone sat down to enjoy lunch. A delightful lunch of chinois salad with chicken, rustic Epicurean breads and a dessert garnished with red strawberries was served. Lunch was provided by Epicurean Catering.

Dan Oftedahl, Colorado Market President for Humana, was the first invited to the stage, where he spoke of the Go Red for Women as a national movement all across the U.S. He also asked the guests to open a bright red box, provided by Humana for each attendee. These boxes were Go Red Power Packs and contained information for each recipient to be used to educate 10 other women about heart disease. The goal of the Power Packs was to reach an additional 5,000 women and to spread the message.

Each attendee also received a pedometer at the beginning of the day. Dan Oftedahl had the honor of presenting a new Trek bike to the guest with the most amount of steps. Mary Verity with Go Red for Women was the lucky winner of the bike as she had logged over 8,000 steps on her pedometer, and it was still early in the day yet! Dan Oftedahl then took a few moments to acknowledge the many generous supporters and sponsors, both nationally and locally, of the Go Red for Women event.

Next on stage was the event chair, Debbie Welle-Powell. Debbie spoke of the importance of educating women about heart disease. She was followed by three special guests: Sheri Foote, Tracey Conway and Dawn Nakamura Kessler, all survivors. These ladies shared their story of survival with the guests. They also gave special honor to the many women who did not survive their battle with heart disease.

Keynote speaker Tracey Conway, Emmy award winning actress from the comedy TV show, "Almost Live!" was next on stage to share her very heartwarming story of survival. She shared a video with the guests and then recounted her story of collapsing on stage, being declared dead, and then her miraculous recovery. Tracey's message was all about loving one's heart. The goal of this event is to raise vital funds in support of lifesaving research and educational programs. The Go Red for Women movement celebrates the energy, passion and power of women to band together to wipe out heart disease and stoke.

If you would like to be a part of this movement or for more information, please visit

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