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Sisters’ fund continues to impact heart health, education and research in the Fox Valley

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in women, claiming more lives than all cancers combined. In addition, women account for more than 57% of total stroke deaths.

These staggering numbers highlight the importance of National Heart Month and initiatives like Go Red for Women.

We’re so grateful for trailblazers like Gussie Balck and Mary Leske for identifying a need to promote heart health and providing continued support to make a difference in their community.

Our 2023 Fox Valley Go Red for Women event is Thursday, February 16 at Bubolz Nature Preserve in Appleton. The event will recognize cardiovascular disease survivors and provide education the connection between mental well-being and heart health.

Funding from the George & Gussie Balck and Art & Mary Leske Fund within the Community Foundation is supporting this event and sponsoring the F.A.S.T. Stroke Warning Signs Campaign. F.A.S.T is an easy way to remember the stroke warning signs and to know what to do in a stroke emergency. Face Drooping, Arm Weakness, Speech Difficulty, Time to call 911.

For more information, visit Northeast Wisconsin Go Red for Women event.

Here are some calls to action you can take during the month of February:

  • Be aware – All women need to know cardiovascular disease is their greatest health threat. Learn more about heart disease and stroke in women at
  • Take Action – Know your numbers, know your family history, take charge of your health — mind and body — and participate in research. Help close the gender gap in cardiovascular research by joining Research Goes Red. Learn more at
  • Advocate – Significant disparities persist for women, particularly women of color, in access to quality care, representation in research and bystander CPR. Join the fight against heart disease and stroke at
  • Learn — A woman is less likely to receive CPR from a bystander than a man so be the beat for a woman you love by becoming a lifesaver and learning Hands-Only CPR by visiting


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