AHA's Tampa Bay Red Sofa tour adds informative comfort to USF

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click to enlarge The Red Sofa Tour in the Marshall Student Center at USF Tampa - Aimee Blodgett/USF
Aimee Blodgett/USF
The Red Sofa Tour in the Marshall Student Center at USF Tampa


I’m looking at some pictures from the American Heart Association’s Tampa Bay Red Sofa Tour’s stop at USF, a couple weeks ago, and I have to say, the whole effort looks pretty damn impressive. There’s a slew of production crew personnel, multiple cameras, a long, dangling microphone, elaborate lighting, theme appropriate backdrops, balloons, and some movie-theatre quality ropes to keep feet off the proudly stamped USF seal, placed at the center of the Marshall Student Center’s shiny, broad-tiled floor.

There were also a couple high-profile guests, who themselves have no small amount of pull around the Tampa Bay area, to stop by. The Red Sofa Tour welcomed two longtime supporters of the American Heart Association to their traveling, custom-made, red Hindell Park Sofa: Judy Genshaft, USF System President and American Heart Association Tampa Bay Heart Ball cabinet member, and Ron Wanek, Ashley Furniture Industries Founder and Chairman of the Board.

click to enlarge Ron Wanek and President Genshaft - Aimee Blodgett/USF
Aimee Blodgett/USF
Ron Wanek and President Genshaft

“I’ve been a part of the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk since 1992,” said Genshaft. “It’s a great cause, in part, because almost every family is touched by heart disease. At the University of South Florida, our researchers conduct leading scientific studies with the goal of finding new ways to prevent and treat heart disease. We were very pleased to have the Red Sofa Tour in our Marshall Student Center at USF, helping to promote developing a heart healthy lifestyle from a young age.”

Two-time heart transplant recipient and USF alumna, Jasmine Le’Shea Honeysucker, led the interview with the two highly-regarded community members, as they talked about raising heart disease and stroke awareness around the Tampa Bay area, USF’s future Health Heart Institute, and what motivates them to live.

“Supporting charitable organizations and our community is a priority for me and Ashley Furniture,” said Wanek. “I’m honored that

click to enlarge President Genshaft participating in the selfie stop with USF students - Aimee Blodgett/USF
Aimee Blodgett/USF
President Genshaft participating in the selfie stop with USF students
 Ashley HomeStore is a sponsor of the American Heart Association Tampa Bay Heart Ball and that through this partnership, we can work together on impactful campaigns — like the Red Sofa Tour — to raise awareness for the prevention of heart disease and stroke.”

By day’s end, students, faculty and staff alike had posted selfies from the crimson couch with accompanied heart-healthy messages and the hashtag #RedSofaTour.

For more information on The Red Sofa Tour, visit RedSofaTour.com.

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