Cheerios Awards $25,000 to Recognize Heroes in the Fight Against Heart Disease
(BLACK PR WIRE) (May 5, 2009) MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Passion, determination, inspirational, loving and kind. These words describe Marian Scott, Icilma Fergus, Afternoon Delight co-chairs Jacqui Love Marshall and Yolanda Mouton LeBlanc, Thelma Roundtree-Tabor and Christiana Care Community Health Outreach and Education Program, five heroes who have proven they have heart for hearts. Today they were awarded the 2009 Cheerios Sisters Saving Hearts grant for their strides in the fight against heart disease, specifically making a difference in the African American community. Each winner is recognized for their commitment for raising heart disease awareness in their communities. For their dedication, Cheerios will award them with a check for $5,000, which will be donated to a non-profit, heart-health organization of her choice.
As the only cold cereal clinically proven to lower cholesterol, Cheerios is committed to empowering women who are working to fight heart disease. The grant program is in its third year and honors heart-healthy heroes with $5,000 each in unrestricted funds for operating expenses. The five winners also will be awarded a trophy representing their commitment to their local communities and recognized on SistersSavingHearts.com.
From all the nominations received, we know that there are so many people out there who strive to make a difference in the fight against heart disease, especially in the African American community, said Jeff Hingher, Cheerios marketing. The hard work and dedication that these five recipients have given to their communities about heart disease is truly an inspiration for all of us. We are proud to award them with grant money to help them make an even larger impact.
The 2009 winners are:
Marian Scott, MS New York, NY
Marian is the Director of Community Health Education at St. Luke's and Roosevelt Hospitals in New York City and has created numerous free programs aimed at high-risk communities. In 2008, she oversaw 25 events with over 22,000 people attending. Two such events include the CHOSEN (Church-Based Health Outreach, Screening and Education Network) and the Stepping Club. CHOSEN is made up of over 250 faith-based institutions that provide an effective platform to conduct health screenings, education, prevention and related activities. The Stepping Club was created to provide a healthy, structured means of combating heart disease and diabetes. Marian continues to oversee all community outreach and health-related events for the hospital and is untiring in her efforts to make all programs accessible to everyone. Marian’s $5,000 grant will be donated to St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital to help fund the many free programs aimed at high-risk communities.
Icilma Fergus, M.D. New York, NY
Dr. Fergus joined the Harlem Hospital Center staff as Chief of Division of Cardiology in April 2007 and has been in perpetual motion ever since. As a member of the American Black Cardiologists (ABC), she collaborated with Harlem Hospital Center in April 2008 and hosted a Power Weekend, which included a Symposium at the Academy of Medicine, a cardiovascular screening and local church visits with ABC members to address the issue of heart health. In addition, Dr. Fergus works tirelessly to bring about cardiovascular disease awareness through her many lectures on heart disease. Each year, she participates in the Harlem Week Health Fair, where she speaks directly to the community spreading heart disease awareness and offering appointments for her clinic and office. Dr. Fergus $5,000 grant will be used to help continue her outreach and training activities in the African American community through the Mentoring in Medicine program.
Jacqui Love Marshall and Yolanda Mouton LeBlanc San Ramon, CA
Two years ago, Jacqui and Yolanda conceived of and co-chaired Afternoon Delight, a summer garden party fundraiser for heart awareness and education. The events bring African American women in the Bay Area together for a fun afternoon of blood pressure and cholesterol testing, AHA education and cooking classes for young girls and recently incarcerated women at local community agencies. With the funds raised by the event, more than 75 inner-city women and young girls have received heart awareness training from the Bay Area Heart Association. The $5,000 grant will be presented to The Links, Inc. to help expand the community awareness efforts of Afternoon Delight fundraiser for heart disease prevention.
Thelma Roundtree-Tabor Las Vegas, NV
For the last five years, Thelma has chaired the blood pressure screening program sponsored by Community Partners for Better Health, a coalition of community based organization in Las Vegas. Thelma and her team have screened in excess of 500 clients and made over 117 referrals for follow up care. As the church organizer for the Wear Red Day initiative, Thelma serves as the health educator ensuring that this 1,000 member church is educated regarding the impact cardiovascular disease has on women. In addition, Thelma is a Coronary Health Improvement Project (CHIP) instructor, providing education on nutrition and healthy lifestyle changes in vulnerable populations. Thelma will donate her $5,000 grant to the Southern Nevada Black Nurses Association.
Christiana Care Community Health Outreach and Education Program
For almost two years, Rhonda Coleman and Lavaida Owens-White have helped to serve 987 high-risk African Americans living in Delaware through the Christiana Care Community Health Outreach and Education Program. Rhonda arranges community events to provide cholesterol testing and heart education and Lavaida, a faith community nurse, provides outreach at faith organizations, community events and state service centers. Through their efforts this program reaches the most vulnerable individuals, impacting them to make lifestyle changes for cardiac health. Both Rhonda and Lavaida exemplify a heart healthy lifestyle; often wearing pedometers, knowing their numbers and adopting healthy lifestyle changes. They lead by example striving to impact family, friends and everyone else they encounter. Rhonda’s and Lavaida’s $5,000 grant will be gifted to the Christiana Care Health System.
Cheerios received more than 8 dozen nominations for individuals and organizations from across the U.S. between February 1 and March 14, 2009. Winners were selected by a panel of judges based on their creativity, quality of service, reach/impact of their work and their direct ability to help educate women on the importance of lowering their cholesterol. The grants are part of Cheerios Circle of Helping Heartsï¿½ broader heart-health initiative, which arms consumers with useful information on heart disease prevention and provides steps to a heart healthy lifestyle via diet, exercise, and regular cholesterol and blood pressure screenings.
For more information about Cheerios Sisters Saving Hearts visit www.SistersSavingHearts.com.
Cheerios, America's No. 1 cereal, debuted in 1941 as Cheerioats. The nation's first ready-to-eat oat cereal has since become one of the most trusted and recognized brands in America. In fact, one of every 10 boxes of cereal sold in America is a box of Cheerios. General Mills' popular franchise includes Cheerios, Honey Nut Cheerios, Frosted Cheerios, Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, MultiGrain Cheerios, Berry Burst Cheerios, Fruity Cheerios, Cheerios Crunch, Yogurt Burst Cheerios and Banana Nut Cheerios. For more information, go to www.cheerios.com.
About General Mills Inc.
General Mills, with annual net sales of $13.4 billion, is a leading global manufacturer and marketer of consumer foods products. Based in Minneapolis, General Mills mission is to innovate to make people’s lives healthier, easier and richer around the world. Its global brand portfolio includes Cheerios and other Big G cereals, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Green Giant, Nature Valley, Yoplait and more. It also has more than 100 U.S. consumer brands, more than 30 of which generate annual retail sales in excess of $100 million. General Mills also is a leading supplier of baking and other food products to the food service and commercial baking industries.