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SMITHFIELD — The Triangle East Chamber of Commerce used its January Coffee Connections to give heart health a boost.
The chamber held the morning social at Johnston Health Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation, where Pine Level Mayor Jeff Holt introduced “All in Red,” a campaign to benefit the Johnston Health Foundation Heart Fund.
“We all know someone who has been affected by heart disease,” said Holt, the campaign’s chairman.
Some 50 people — medical personnel, government leaders and businesspeople — attended the campaign kickoff, where Holt encouraged them to donate directly or to hold fundraisers in their workplaces. The money will benefit local heart patients, he said.
“The financial challenges of a heart patient in need are enormous, and our funds are to assist patients that need help,” Holt said.
“All in Red” will run Feb. 7-14. “Those who participate in the program are encouraged to wear red and decorate their establishments with red ... throughout the campaign,” Holt told his listeners, some of whom were already wearing red.
He hopes the color will get people talking. “Our main message is trying to raise awareness for heart disease,” Holt said.
It’s a message with spreading, Holt said. “There are 30 million people in America who have had heart problems,” he said. “But according to the Centers for Disease Control, some 80 percent of the cases are preventable through education, resources and other means.”
Johnstonians can support the campaign by making an online donation at johnstonhealth.org/donate/make-a-donation. Also, they can help out by dining out next week.
From 5 to 9 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 10, the Simple Twist restaurants in Smithfield and the Cleveland community will donate 10 percent of sales to the Heart Fund. The next day, Feb. 11, Zaxby’s in Smithfield will also donate 10 percent of sales to the fund. Finally, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, Chefella’s at the Dupree House in Smithfield will donate that same 10 percent of sales.