Monday, November 14, 2011

Knowledge Is Power

Seven-time Grammy-winning gospel artist Kirk Franklin just wrapped up the first leg of our Power to End Stroke Gospel Tour, with electrifying performances in Tulsa, Houston, and San Antonio.  The Gospel Tour was created to educate African Americans about their increased risk for stroke, as well as to help them recognize stroke warning signs and react quickly.  The first leg of the tour attracted 6,800 attendees – which brings us nearly halfway to our goal of 15,000. 

Our next set of concerts is scheduled to take place in the spring, so be on the lookout for upcoming concert dates in Oklahoma City, Little Rock, Austin, and Dallas/Fort Worth.  In addition to the seven performances within the SouthWest Affiliate, the tour is expanding beyond our territory for the first time this year, with additional stops in St. Louis, Chicago and Kansas City.

Kirk has the San Antonio
crowd on their feet

Like in previous years, concert-goers hear an empowering message through music and Kirk personally challenges them to improve their cardiovascular health.  AHA speakers also share their knowledge and testimony about stroke to encourage awareness and action.   In Tulsa, Dr. Daryl Thompson, a local volunteer and national Power to End Stroke Ambassador Award winner, instructed attendees to act “FAST” when they see the stroke warning signs.  This acronym stands for Facial weakness, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, and Time to act.

Kirk speaks at the
San Antonio Heart Walk.
In addition to the concert’s educational component, Kirk is also helping us connect our mission to revenue by leading the audience in a special appeal.  Audience members have been asked to donate $10 to the AHA on by texting “power” to 80088.  After the first three concerts, we have received nearly 200 donations via text.

Kirk also made guest appearances at our San Antonio and Houston Heart Walks. He joined walkers and helped drive community Walk teams and overall participation on the day of the events.

Members of the Tulsa
concert planning committee.
As many social movements within the African American community have been rooted in the church, Kirk’s partnership with the Power to End Stroke Movement encourages people to strive toward a healthy mind, body and spirit.  We are so grateful that Kirk is using his talent to advance our mission and embody the lifestyle of healthy eating and physical fitness.  In addition to his success in the music industry, Kirk Franklin is the host of BET’s Sunday Best and author of New York Times Bestseller The Blueprint: A Plan for Living Above Life’s Storms

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