Winners of UpClose Cardiac Surgery's Go Red Challenge

By NEWSChannel 2 Staff

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. - The Division of Cardiac Surgery at Bassett Medical Center is delighted to announce the winners of the UpClose Cardiac Surgery program’s first annual Go Red Challenge held in January and February of this year. 

This event, run in conjunction with the American Heart Association (AHA) and New York Central Mutual Insurance Company, was conducted in recognition of the AHA’s national Go Red for Women Day, which is designed to increase awareness of heart disease in women.   

The UpClose Cardiac Surgery program at Bassett educates over 1,000 area seventh graders each year on the benefits heart-healthy living.  Students attended three-hour sessions at Bassett Medical Center, during which they learned about the benefits of exercise and a heart-healthy diet along with the dangers of cigarette smoking. 

This year, students from eight schools (Gilbertsville-Mt. Upton Central School; Duanesburg High School; Jefferson Central School; Worcester Central School; Schoharie Central School; Mt. Markham Middle School; Stamford Central School; Unadilla Valley Central School) were offered the chance to compete in the Go Red Challenge.  Participating students received two pedometers, one for them and one for their mother or female guardian.  Using the pedometers, they kept track of the number of steps they walked over a seven-day period.  The winning team from each school received a $50 gift certificate to a local sporting goods store, and mountain bikes were awarded to the student and the mother/guardian with the highest point total. 


This competition produced some amazing results:


  • There were a total of 138 participants, walking a total of 8,596,475 steps.  Given the average distance covered with a single stride, this meant that 21,491,188 feet or 4,070 miles were walked in total!


  • The average number of steps for each team was 124,587, equaling 311,466 feet or 59 miles walked by each team on average in one week!


  • The teams from Worcester Central School averaged the highest number of steps per team (147,360) which was only 51 steps more per team than the participants from Duanesburg High School.


  • The school with the highest total number of steps was Gilbertsville-Mt. Upton Central School at 2,565,214, or a total of 1,215 miles combining all participants at that school.


  • The winning teams at each school were:


    • Matt and Tina Gamache from Duanesburg High School
    • Mickenson and Thonda Clune from Gilbertsville-Mt. Upton Central School
    • Mary and Patricia Mitsopoulos from Jefferson Central School
    • Austin and Debrorah Joyce from Mt. Markham Middle School
    • Kayla Shackelton and Laurie Marsh from Schoharie Central School
    • Amanda and Bridget Palmatier from Stamford Central School
    • Grace and Rebecca Brooks-White from Unadilla Valley Central School
    • Billy and Shelly Shafer from Worcester Central School


  • The overall winning team was Austin Joyce and his grandmother, Deborah Joyce, from Mt. Markham Middle School with a total of 431,603 steps, which equaled 1,079,007 feet or 204 miles in one week!

The UpClose program plans to make this an annual event.  The goal is to encourage heart-healthy lifestyles that become a way of life (as all participants were able to keep their pedometers).

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