LIVINGSTON, NJ — More than two-dozen local business people and their families came out to a Livingston Area Chamber of Chamber (LACC) after hours Dine and Donate event on Thursday evening at Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, with 20 percent of participants’ bills going toward FlyRed for Heart Disease.
Businesses including Regal Bank, Key Group Wealth Management, Saint Barnabas Medical Center, BrandyWine Assisted Living, Max Title Agency, Family Healing Center, TAPintoLivingston.net and Livingston Bagel attended the event in support of fellow businesswoman Margie Heller, administrative director of community health and outreach at Saint Barnabas Medical Center.
Heller, whose brother died from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy approximately five years ago, is on a mission to help raise money for the heart centers at Saint Barnabas Medical Center. Heller, who is also the LACC vice president of communications, organized the event alongside Livingston Bagel owner Daniel Blue, LACC vice president of membership.
“I wanted to find a way to give back in his memory and to take something bad and turn it into something good,” said Heller. “One of the ways was to raise money for the American Heart Association and for the last three years I decided to do something for the heart centers at Saint Barnabas. One way is through Dine and Donates and another way has been through our FlyRed events.”
As of Thursday’s event, Heller’s project had already raised $40,000. According to Heller, this year’s goal is $50,000 by April.
“It’s all about taking something tragic and turning it into a positive—getting people out to exercise and raising funds to enhance patient care,” said Heller, who also spoke about raising awareness. “People need to take a look at cardiovascular disease. It’s the number one killer in women and it’s also prevalent in men and people need to take a look at what the risk factors are.”
FlyRed for Heart Disease is an annual Flywheel event that occurred on Sunday in Millburn. In addition to these events, monetary donations have funded medical equipment, patient recliners, renovations to the waiting room and more.
LACC’s upcoming events include Coffee with a Cop on March 9 at 8 a.m. at Livingston Bagel and another Dine and Donate for FlyRed on March 16 at 5:00 p.m. at Calabria Restaurant and Pizzeria.
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Fore more information on how to donate to FlyRed, contact Heller at Margie.Heller@rwjbh.org.