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Panthers Celebrate Heart Health Month

by Chrissy Parente /

SUNRISE, Fla. - On a busy night at the BB&T Center, doctors, sponsors and supporters gathered in the Legends Lounge for a cocktail hour with members of the American Heart Association. February is Heart Healthy Month and the American Heart Association helps to raise awareness of heart disease and the many ways we can prevent it.

The American Heart Association's mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. On Feb. 9, the Florida Panthers organization awarded the AHA $25,000, as part of the Community Champions program, for their research in hopes of working towards preventing heart disease.

At the American Heart Association, everyone has a "Why" as part of the "Life is Why" tagline and why they decided to become a part of the association. Dr. Frank Scholl has a very personal "why" which is the reason he decided to become part of the AHA and now sits as the Board President for the South Florida AHA.

"My why is that I have a family history of coronary heart disease. My father and uncles all have it and I hope I don't have it. One of the ways to prevent other people from getting the disease is to partner with the AHA," said Chief of Pediatric and Congenital Cardiac Surgery, Surgical Director of Heart Transplantation Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital Dr. Scholl. "Another reason is that I'm a congenital heart surgeon and much of what I do comes from research that was funded by the AHA so that's a big part of what I do every day."

Regional President of BB&T South Florida Tony Coley is one of the many supporters of the American Heart Association and their efforts. BB&T has collaborated with the AHA to be a part of their mission and community outreach efforts.

"We like to associate ourselves with quality brands. We are associated with the Florida Panthers with them playing at the BB&T Center. We know that they [the Panthers] are associated with the American Heart Association and have been for some time so when we were approached about having a partnership with the AHA, it just made total sense for us," said Coley.

One of the biggest fundraisers for the South Florida AHA is their Broward Heart Walk which takes place on Sunday, April 23rd. Doctors, corporate partners, supports and volunteers are all a part of the walk. Anyone interested in volunteering or participating in the walk are encouraged to visit

"This is going to be the biggest Heart Walk that Broward has ever seen so getting involved this year is going to be great," said Dr. Scholl.

In partnership with Cleveland Clinic South Florida, the Florida Panthers are running a #HeartHealthySelfie contest through the month of February in order to raise awareness. Fans are encouraged to post a selfie using the hashtag #HeartHealthySelfie and tag Cleveland Clinic and #FlaPanthers on Twitter and Facebook with a chance to win a selfie with a Florida Panthers player. For more information on this campaign click HERE

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