More than 80 golfers hit the links on Sunday, Aug. 26 for the 4th annual “Swing with Heart” golf tournament. Initial planning started in Jan. and literally continued until the day of the tournament. I shared information about the event during an interview on Golf DMV, a weekly regional golf podcast.
Before I knew it the big day was here. Goody bags were ready. Customized golf balls ordered. Dinner menu finalized. Silent auction items tagged and on display. Special thanks to WomenHeart Champion Barbara Weiding for soliciting items for the silent auction, which was bigger and more diverse than in prior years. Everything I could control was checked off the list. One concern was the main thing I could NOT control—the weather, but Mother Nature did her part too.
It was a perfect day, after a summer of rainy days. We had the largest field of players, increasing registration by almost 25 percent. Sponsor signs lined the driveway and had been placed on the putting green, driving range and each of the holes at Belmont Country Club in Ashburn, Va. Golf carts surrounded the putting green and participants were dressed in some manner of red golf clothes. We were ready to tee off for a cause.
As in prior years, we had a short presentation about why it was important to support the mission and work of WomenHeart. This year our presenter was Carrie Wosicki, a WomenHeart Champion and former Chair of the Board of Directors. She reminded the audience that heart disease is the #1 killer of women, claiming the lives of more women than all cancers combined. She told the audience her story and indicated before she had her heart attack, she was totally unaware of her family history of heart disease, a major risk factor for her.
And then we were off to play golf and probably the most important aspect of our work occurred on the greens. A male player approached me and indicated he was a quadruple bypass patient and wondered why all our efforts were solely for women. I shared with him the one-year mortality data for women compared to men. I told him how women’s symptoms were different than men’s and were frequently misdiagnosed and how women often felt isolated in their heart disease battle. He was totally shocked by this information and committed to supporting the tournament every year.
In addition to having fun, increasing the money raised in support of our programs, we educated one more person about the importance of our mission. Hopefully he will share what he learned with others.