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February 20, 2020
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With many events and displays planned, including lighting up town buildngs in red (shown here, Branford Town Hall), Branford will go all out to “Go Red for Women” in February, to support the American Heart Association’s efforts to raise awareness and help fund critical research to fight the number one killer of women, cardiovascular disease. 

File Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

With many events and displays planned, including lighting up town buildngs in red (shown here, Branford Town Hall), Branford will go all out to “Go Red for Women” in February, to support the American Heart Association’s efforts to raise awareness and help fund critical research to fight the number one killer of women, cardiovascular disease. (File photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound | Buy This Photo)

Branford Going All Out to 'Go Red for Women' in February

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With several events and displays planned, Branford will go all out to "Go Red for Women" in February, to support the American Heart Association's (AHA) efforts to raise awareness and help fund critical research to fight the number one killer of women, cardiovascular disease. February is Heart Disease Awareness month and National Go Red for Women Day is Friday, Feb. 7.

According to AHA statistics, cardiovascular disease causes one in three deaths in women each year. More information, and details on national AHA "Go Red for Women" efforts underway, can be viewed at https://www.goredforwomen.org/en/about-go-red-for-women

Thanks to a local "Go Red for Women" awareness and fundraising campaign instituted by Branford merchant Sally Attianese 13 years ago; and since joined by supporters including Branford resident and heart attack survivor Trista Milici, Branford has become one of the most prominent shoreline towns working to show support AHA's efforts each February.

As a Merle Norman Cosmetics proprietor, Attianese works with many women. She began the effort to raise awareness and funds for AHA's "Go Red for Women" campaign because she wanted to support women and her community and also as a tribute to her mom, who passed away due to complications from cardiovascular disease.

Attianese and Milici, who is also Branford's Executive Assistant to the First Selectman, together with Maggie Fitter, Development Director of AHA's Heart Walk, make up the committee heading up several "Go Red for Women" initiatives taking place in and around Branford during the month of February.

Dressing Up and Dining Goes Red

On Friday, Feb. 7, a "Dinner and Red Dress Fashion Show" will be held at Season's wedding and banquet facility in East Haven (990 Foxon Road). Guests are encouraged to dress up in red and come out to enjoy a delicious buffet dinner (cash bar), support the night's raffle (over 60 prizes donated by local businesses) and cheer on 10 local women, all impacted by heart disease, as they model fashions from A's Unique Boutique of Guilford.  Tickets, $38 each (tables of ten available), can be reserved by calling (203) 481-9770 or emailing sallyanninc@gmail.com or by calling  (203) 315-0620 or emailing tmilici@branford-ct.gov

Until it happened to her, Milici said she never thought she would suffer a heart attack. But during the last weekend of January, 2012, the busy wife and mother of three went into cardiac arrest. While she survived the life-threatening heart attack, the episode built her resolve to make sure more women are aware of the risks and signs, and to help raise awareness and support for the work of AHA. On Friday, Feb. 7, encouraged by Milici, staff at Town Hall and many other Branford public buildings will come to work in red attire to recognize and support national "Go Red for Women Day." It will mark the eighth year Milici has invited town staff and elected officials to make a donation to AHA as part of their participation in this very special, red-themed "dress down Friday."

Branford Goes Red in February

For the month of February, Branford's premiere Town buildings will shine with red lights at night. The red-lit locations will include Town Hall, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford Police Department, Branford Fire Department and the Branford Board of Education office (1111 Main Street).  As a new display this year, Branford's Building Official, Anthony Cinicola, has donated a four-foot wooden heart, painted red and decorated with 200 lights, that be located on the Town Green, said Milici.

Throughout the month of February, several often-visited Town departments will also host a Paper Hearts fundraising drive to benefit AHA. Anyone visiting Town Hall, Blackstone Library, Branford Fire Department, Branford Police Department, Branford Recreation Department and Canoe Brook Senior Center (both located at Branford Community House) can purchase a paper heart for a dollar. Paper hearts will be added to individual "Go Red for Women" displays at each building.

Branford will also go red in February with creative "Go Red" themed displays lighting up windows of local businesses in the town center and beyond.

"From bright lights and red hearts, local businesses can play an important part in sharing the AHA's mission with our community," the committee noted, in a media release on Jan. 25. 

The committee also plans to create a photo gallery of the window displays, which be posted at the Town's Facebook page (find Town of Branford CT) during the month of February.


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