Local sorority chapter emphasizes importance of heart health

Pictured at center is Kimberley Miller

As the month of February is internationally recognized as Heart Health Month, 20 members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated Pi Upsilon Omega Chapter assembled at the main entrance of the local ScotiaBank on Friday, to distribute a small, yet sweet reminder for persons to take care of their hearts, not only during the month of February but year round.  


Kimberley Miller, President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated Pi Upsilon Omega Freeport, Grand Bahama Island Chapter disclosed the significance of the campaign held under the theme, ‘Pink goes Red.’ 


The event was one of the many initiatives the widely, internationally recognized sorority has planned for the month. 


“Our colors of the sorority are salmon pink and apple green and for one day only, pink goes red, and that is the focus behind this initiative as we put emphasis on heart health, but more importantly for women. 


“February is heart month and what we have decided to do is, distribute apples as, obviously, a health gesture that we have nicely wrapped with a little message from a local cardiologist, Dr. Winston Forbes. 


“We are giving them to women as they are exiting ScotiaBank and as we run into females throughout the day, to remind them to keep their hearts healthy, as we focus on heart health in the month February.” 


Attached to the apples were inscriptions from Forbes that read, “A beautiful heart is more important than a pretty face or a fine figure. Therefore, I would like to challenge all women to take personal attention to their heart.” 


Wearing red on Friday opposed to the traditional salmon pink and apple green, Miller shared that it was particularly important for her and fellow sorors to drive home the fact the importance of heart health, for women in particular, who may have an increased risk of heart disease due to factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and diabetes.  


The President thanked ScotiaBank for allowing them to distribute the heart healthy reminders to their customers.


In addition to the ‘Pink goes Red’ Campaign, Miller noted that the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated has launched a 2017 International Program that will focus on the theme, ‘Launching New Dimensions of Service.’


As president of the local chapter, Miller noted that members of the Freeport Chapter will address community needs on Grand Bahama Island focused on the program’s five targets, which are educational enrichment, health promotions, family strengthening, environmental ownership and global impact. 


“In January we focused on a day of service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We donated 50 snack packets of interim meals to Jubilee Cathedral, with the aim of focusing on Childhood Hunger. We also partnered with Kelly’s Freeport Limited and donated blankets through our, ‘We Care’ Program, fueled by our Seasonal Wraps Drive.  


“In partnership with local business stakeholders and our ‘Leaving a Legacy of Literacy’ initiative, we also donated books to the Jubilee’s Children’s Church Ministry,” Miller noted. 


Additionally the group issued flyers to encourage voter registration. 


“We will also host community impact days like the Pink Goes Red for Heart Health Day and our 1908 Playground Mobilization Day will take place in May. We have a fun activity planned for the Longest Day Alzheimer’s Support activities in June and Mental Health Awareness Day for July.”  


In addition to the aforementioned programs, Miller shared that the local chapter also has an active Twenty Pearls Program, specifically geared towards female high school students who are top tier students in learning institutions throughout the island. 


She shared what the program entails. “This is a mentoring program whose mission is to cultivate academic achievement, promote community activism and encourage personal growth among young ladies.


“Additionally, our ASCEND Youth Enrichment Program focuses on ‘Achievement, Self-Awareness, Communication, Engagement, Networking and Development Skills.’


“Students who attend this signature program will have an opportunity to receive academic enrichment and life skills training to support their journey to college or vocational employment” Miller explained.


“We are just ready to do our part to continue to bring service to all mankind throughout the community of Grand Bahama Island. We are hoping to have a fantastic year,” concluded the chapter president. 


The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated was founded on the campus of Howard University in Washington D.C. in 1908 and to date, consists of 290,000 members and 1,005 chapters.


The local chapter, Pi Upsilon Omega, was charted in Freeport on May 23, 1987 and this year will celebrate 30 years.


Published  Tuesday, February 7, 2017 


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