Go Red presents first Rae Short volunteer award

DOVER — The 15th annual Southern Delaware Go Red for Women event Wednesday fittingly honored a Dover woman who worked diligently for the cause of raising awareness and funding for the American Heart Association.

Rae Ann Short, 63, died in August from complications resulting from a stroke while crossing a street in Dover. She was a tireless volunteer who advocated for many causes, from heart disease and stroke awareness and prevention to senior citizens’ issues and community betterment.

To honor her work, the first Rae Ann Short Volunteer Excellence Award was presented to Kimberly Holmes, a clinical nurse specialist of the Bayhealth Stroke Care Center.

“Well, you fooled me,” Ms. Holmes said after arriving on stage.

Ms. Short’s husband of 42 years, Norman, presented the award.

“(Rae would) be honored today to have an award named after her,” he said. “If she was here, she’d be here at the very end cleaning up.”

He noted that his wife loved the Go Red event, and sharing her diagnosis with women to encourage them to ask questions of their doctors and be proactive of their health. Mrs. Short first suffered from heart disease in 2012 when she had a heart attack and triple bypass surgery.

Ms. Holmes, whose voice choked with emotion during her acceptance speech, recalled a story when her friend Mrs. Short asked her to speak to a small group of colleagues about strokes at Pinnacle Rehabilitation last year. Pitching it as a small group discussion with 12 to 13 people, Ms. Holmes arrived to find 50 people waiting.

“I said, ‘Rae!’ She gave me that little smirk and was like ‘You got it.’”

“Rae was the type of woman, she supported you. She supported me. She was just very special to me,” Ms. Holmes said.

“Heart disease and stroke affect all of us in one way or another. It’s just my pleasure to serve the Heart Association and Stroke Association of Delaware.”

The annual event at Dover Downs Hotel featured a silent auction, vendors and health screenings and the popular luncheon and fashion show featuring red dresses, an icon of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign.

Reach the Delaware State News newsroom at newsroom@newszap.com

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