Nearly three dozen physicians traded their white lab coats for red tutus and raced for a worthy cause at Florida Hospital Orlando on Tuesday.
The physicians participated in the second annual Red Skirt Run, racing one another to raise more than $15,000 for the American Heart Association's Greater Orlando Heart Walk, scheduled for Nov. 18 at the University of Central Florida.
Physicians "bought" disadvantages for their competitors, while other hospital employees could give their favorite doctors an advantage through a donation. The race brought everyone together as leaders and front-line staff cheered on their favorite physicians, while raising money for an important cause.
"Millions of Americans live with a form of cardiovascular disease, which is the nation's No. 1 killer. That's why it is important for us to raise awareness of heart disease and educate our community about the ways they can protect themselves," said Dr. Duane Davis, director of the Florida Hospital Cardiovascular Institute.
"We support the American Heart Association because they not only provide key community resources, but also significant funding to research into cardiovascular diseases and stroke."
As a Life is Why sponsor, Florida Hospital partners with the American Heart Association to raise awareness about the warning signs of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, as well as prevention and education. In addition to the funds raised Tuesday, Florida Hospital employees have raised more than $122,000 for the upcoming Heart Walk through other initiatives.
The Greater Orlando Heart Walk typically raises more than $1 million annually with a turnout of nearly 18,000 walkers, making it one of Central Florida's largest fundraisers.
"The Red Skirt Run truly exemplifies our organization's mission by combining fun, philanthropy and physical activity," said LaSonia Landry, executive director of the American Heart Association of Greater Orlando. "We are so grateful to Florida Hospital and their incredible staff for helping us raise critical funds to support heart disease research."
Visit http://GreaterOrlandoHeartWalk.org to sign up for the Heart Walk.