Fighting Heart Disease and Stroke

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Lynne Love, Chairman of the American Heart Association’s 2012 Phoenix Heart Ball, talks about some of the programs the annual fundraiser supports, such as the Halle Heart Children’s Museum in Tempe.

Ted Simons: The American heart association's Halle Heart Children's Museum in Tempe teaches kits about heart healthy living through interactive exhibits designed to be informative and entertaining. It's one of many programs made possible by the Phoenix heart ball, an annual fund-raiser that takes place each November. Here is Lynne Love, the 2012 heart ball chairman. Good to have you here.
Lynne Love: Thank you so much. I'm so honored.
Ted Simons: Let's hear more about the Halle heart museum.
Lynne Love: The Halle Heart Children's Museum is the only interactive cardiovascular museum in the nation, or anywhere, for that matter. It has eight major exhibits that teach children about how to have heart health and it's fun and interactive and the major exhibits that are really exciting to kids are -- let's see. Follow your dreams.
Ted Simons: There you go. What about this 911 action theater? What's that all about?
Lynne Love: It's really cool. Kids go in there and it's this interactive theater, and kids actually have a chance to figure out how not to have -- what to do if someone is having a heart attack and it gives the steps. Call 911. Stay with your person. Make sure that 911 comes and it's actually geared for second graders and also fifth graders. We have two versions of that.
Ted Simons: I love how they show the elephant with a heart. Everyone has a heart. The idea is just to get kids just familiar with the idea of the heart and heart health. Correct?
Lynne Love: Absolutely right. All creatures great and small exhibit has these hearts of an elephant, a hummingbird, a giraffe. Kids can listen and try to figure out which animal has which kind of heartbeat.
Ted Simons: isn't that something. The marketplace sounds interesting as well with food labels and these sorts of things.
Lynne Love: I have to say that's my very favorite exhibit, if I can be partial. Actually it's like a little grocery store, very charming. There are two great big stalks of asparagus on the outside, tomatoes, you walk in and you can take your food off the shelf and scan it to try to figure out if you've got it right in terms of how much fat, how many calories, if you have the right grouping of foods to have a balanced meal.
Ted Simons: and I read 30,000 kids a year visit this museum.
Lynne Love: 30,000 kids a year. We're hoping actually to take that up to 40,000, so that's one of the things that the heart ball hopes to achieve. It's about 1,000 kids a day that are bussed in. It meets 18 different state mandates for education, which is really great. It really is very educational and you know helps kids in terms of their curriculums also. Let's talk about the heart ball. The museum was built with funds from this particular event.
Lynne Love: Absolutely. The 2010 heart ball made it possible to open the Halle Heart Children's Museum. Each year we will support the museum we believe very strongly along with all the American heart association programs here in Phoenix.
Ted Simons: What is the heart ball?
Lynne Love: The heart ball is a ball with a lot of history and legacy. This is actually the 53rd ball. The very first heart ball was chaired by Mrs. Barry Goldwater in 1959, so it's a heart ball with legacy and tradition, and it's on November 17th at the Phoenician resort and spa. We have the Jean press orchestra, a society band from New York that will be in. The theme of this year's ball is put a little love in your heart.
Ted Simons: Okay. Again, correct me if I'm wrong, $30 million raised over the past 50 years.
Lynne Love:Impressive, isn't it?
Ted Simons: Yes, it is. On it goes.
Lynne Love: Exactly. I have to say the heart ball committee is a very dedicated group of women leaders from across the valley. They work very hard. It's a year long process to get ready for the ball. The ball is actually celebration of our year and our successes and what we're able to raise and help the American heart association with.
Ted Simons: In terms of helping the association, I know education and outreach efforts are very important, and you hear about the Halle Heart Children's Museum, efforts there. Is it working? We hear a lot about childhood obesity and it seems this is not going away.
Lynne Love: you know, this is a huge problem, one that I feel personally very concerned about. Nutrition is certainly something I care a lot about and exercise. Right now we have a generation of children that may not outlive their parents. That's the first time we have had a statistic like that since the civil war. It's really scary. In Arizona, it's an enormous problem. In fact, from 2003 to 2007 we had a 91% increase in overweight children, girls specifically, an obese girls. So just to give you an idea of what it looks like, it's a big problem.
Ted Simons: So at the museum how do you get this to the kids without haranguing them, without making them feel ashamed -- it's a sensitive topic. How do you inform kids that eating right and exercises does make a difference?
Lynne Love: Well, the Halle Heart Children's Museum makes it really fun. So again, everything is bright and colorful, and everything is really fun to do. For instance, with this golf exhibit, which is sort of an anti-smoking and exercise thumbs up, you can actually golf. You can putt through the chambers of the heart. It's a little putting Green. It's all really fun. There's also an exhibit that the Phoenix Suns have sponsored. Kids are actually jumping up and down and exercising as part of it with the gorilla from the Suns. It's just all very fun. The kids love it.
Ted Simons: The kids love it. What about -- for those of us a little old for a children's museum, heart or otherwise, how do you get the information to the adults that the kids need to maybe change some habits, change food habits, exercise habits, how do you do that?
Lynne Love: One thing about the museum is the kids leave and they are very pumped up about going home and sharing what they have learned with their parents. They do that. And so often there are take-aways to go home with the kids so they can share with their parents as well. Things they should be eating, some of it exercises that they should be doing, and certainly our hope is with outreach through the Halle Heart Children's Museum and the American heart association that parents model this for their kids at home. Take your kid on a run. Make sure that they are making good food choices rather than sugary sodas and other kinds of things that cause other problems besides just obesity.
Ted Simons: I imagine American heart association is always obviously target parents as well. It's nice that Halle Heart Children's Museum is one thing but you gotta get mom and dad active and eating right too.
Lynne Love: Absolutely. We're the role models for our kids.
Ted Simons: congratulations on the museum's success. Good luck with the heart ball. It's good having you.
Lynne Love: Thank you. There are still a few tickets left government to, there's a place to buy ticket. We appreciate any support we can get.
Ted Simons: Phoenix heart Very good. Thank you.
Lynne Love: Thank you so much.

Lynne Love:Chairman, American Heart Association 2012 Phoenix Heart Ball;

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