On Feb. 7, UC Davis Wears Red Day took place on Hutchison Field. The event looked to raise awareness for heart disease as a leading killer of men and women in the U.S. by attempting to break the world record for the largest human heart formation.
According to Andrew Crotto, event manager at UC Davis, 12,000 people were expected to attend the event to break the world record of 11,166 people for the largest heart formation. The total turnout for the event was approximately 2,386 people.
Crotto said in an interview that the event was a success in the sense that a variety of student organizations and faculty members were present to raise awareness together. Although the world record was not met, the event was still a success in terms of promoting education for heart disease in the United States.
“Our expectations for the event were definitely met,” Crotto said.
Among the various UC Davis groups present were members of the Cal Aggie Marching Band, a variety of sorority and fraternity chapters and members of the UC Davis faculty.
In the hopes of educating UC Davis students and faculty, Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi spearheaded the event alongside Dr. Amparo Villablanca, director of the UC Davis Women’s Cardiovascular Medicine Program, and Adele Zhang, curator of the UC Davis Design Museum. The planning for the event began six months ago, according to the chancellor.
Katehi said that the event was created to “come together and recognize together that cardiovascular disease is really a number one killer disease among women.”
Barbara Jahn, the swim coach at UC Davis, attended the event alongside other UC Davis faculty and students. Jahn teaches an aerobics dance class through the physical education program at UC Davis.
“It’s all about getting a healthy heart, so I thought this was a perfect opportunity to promote a healthy heart and healthy living,” Jahn said.
According to Crotto, it is undecided as to whether or not UC Davis Wears Red Day will become an annual event. An ultimate decision has not been made.
Katehi stressed the importance of educating students about heart disease.
“This disease can be avoided. This is a disease that kills young people between the ages of 35 and 55 primarily, so it is very important that we educate our students,” Katehi said.
— LAURA FITZGERALD