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CEO Amy Watson asks Kelly Williamson, Director of Media Relations, to share about another favorite restaurant charity.

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My dad inherited the nickname Energizer Bunny shortly after his second Pacemaker surgery.

Today is February 14, Valentine’s Day, and as I look around flowers, red, and hearts are everywhere. So in honor of this special day and National Heart Month, I thought I would talk about another cause that is very special to me. When I was very young, only 5 or 6, I remember my father going to the hospital for the first time. I didn’t really understand what it all meant, but I was informed my father would soon be “battery –operated,” he was receiving his first pacemaker. My dad a young and healthy man, who was a runner, suddenly grew tired with tasks like taking out the garbage. He went to the doctor and it was then that he found out that he had a congenital heart disease that would lead to numerous heart surgeries and a life of pacemakers. At the time not many people of his age had pacemakers, but today he is one of the 3million people worldwide living with one.

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I called him today to wish him Happy Valentine’s Day and to confirm the total number of Pacemakers he’s had. We laughed as we both realized that we had lost count, somewhere between 6 or 7. What he can tell you is how many holidays, vacations, and graduations he’s attended, because the research and doctors that helped him to continue truly living. Given his health concerns, it won’t come as a surprise that he decided to join the American Heart Association. The American Heart Association helps raise awareness, teach CPR, lead research, and put AEDs, or automated external defibrillators in schools. Their success comes from the help of individuals like you and me, and large corporations that take up the cause. This is just two of those organizations:

Mimi’s Café

Much to many people’s surprise, Heart disease is the #1 killer of women. Thanks to organizations like American Heart Association, with the help of Mimi’s Café, they are allowing more and more people to be aware of the danger posed to women.

Go Red for Women is a national movement that does just that, raise awareness. It’s relatively young campaign, only about 10 years old, but has garnered much national attention, including the support of many celebrities.

For the month of February, “Mimi’s Café will offer guests the opportunity to donate $1 and receive a paper red heart or donate $5 and receive the paper red heart plus a limited edition Red Dress lapel pin. 100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Go Red For Women movement, for a minimum total donation of $150,000.”

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Subway 

Within the last year, Subway meals received an endorsement from the American Heart Association, helping identify their heart healthy meals.  AHA’s president, Gordon Tomaselli told USA Today that this can cost a company up to $700,000 a year for the endorsement.

In addition Subway sponsors The American Heart Association’s Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart programs, helping encourage the youth of America to get active, and raise money for the American Heart Association at the same time.

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Aimed at Elementary Kids

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Aimed at Secondary School Students

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Through healthy options and exercise Subway and American Heart Association are hoping they can make a difference, and cut down on the 870,000 people who die of stroke or cardiovascular disease every year.

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