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Celebrity-Studded Go Red Event Raises $850,000

Marcia Gay Harden, Star Jones, James Gandolfini, “American Idol” Constantine Maroulis and Amy Shorin-Silverstein turn out for Go Red benefit.

“Neither wind, rain, sleet or snow could keep New York women from putting on red and stepping out — fuhgeddaboutit!” said Marcia Gay Harden, the Oscar-winning actress, feigning a die-hard New Yorker accent, at the Go Red for Women luncheon at the Waldorf Astoria benefiting the American Heart Association’s national campaign to fight heart disease.

“My father died of heart disease in 2002,” said Harden, who received the 2010 Women with Heart Award from the AHA. “He was overweight, stressed out, a military man, angry, diabetic — the poster boy for heart disease. He was also from Texas and would never not think of eating copious amounts of whatever he wanted.”

The Waldorf’s ballroom was nearly filled to capacity with about 1,000 people, mostly women dressed in red. More than $850,000 was raised as of last week, including $364,000 from Macy’s alone. “That’s a 20 percent increase from a year ago,” noted Macy’s executive vice president of marketing Martine Reardon. Since 2004, she added, Macy’s has contributed more than $21 million to Go Red.

Also among the crowd were Star Jones, James Gandolfini, “American Idol” Constantine Maroulis and Amy Shorin-Silverstein, a heart transplant recipient who helped found the Arthur and Beverly Shorin Comprehensive Transplant Center at Columbia University, and author of “Sick Girl.” She told the crowd how a virus attacked her heart, urgently requiring her to have the operation, though initially, doctors diagnosed her as OK. “Do not be quiet. Bring your women’s intuition to every doctor’s appointment.”