Mah Jongg Tournament Raises Awareness For Women's Heart Health
Players enjoy a “mock” tournament at Moms’ Weekend off at Club Med Sandpiper Bay. {Photo by Jill Fox}

By Sharon Aron Baron

Parkland mom and entrepreneur Jill Fox is taking the game of Mah Jongg to the next level with a chance for residents to win big.

Since 2019, Fox has been holding local Mah Jongg nights, where groups of moms can attend a kid-less evening filled with friends, food, and fun. Although the pandemic derailed her gatherings for some time, Fox’s events resumed as Covid concerns gradually subsided.

This time, she is has something different up her sleeve with an important cause in mind.

Fox is hosting her first Mah Jongg Tournament to raise awareness for heart health and benefit the American Heart Association.

At a Mah Jongg Tournament, players have the opportunity to win much more than in a typical game, where the victor garners a mere 25 or 50 cents per hand. In a tournament, point values determine the winner who could potentially walk away with thousands of dollars depending on various factors, like entry fee and the number of attendees.

“Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women, and it’s a topic that hits home for me,” said Fox, who lost her mother following heart surgery in February 2020. “My mom always seemed so healthy. She ate salad, drank mainly water, and went to Pilates practically every day.”

Mah Jongg Tournament Raises Awareness For Women's Heart Health 1Jill and her mother, Diane. {Photo by Jill Fox}

Fox wanted to do something in her mom’s memory – something she would have loved. “And if we provide some positive takeaways for these women, even better,” she said.

The American Heart Association’s “Mom Life” campaign reveals simple tips and tools for moms with kids of all ages. A natural fit with her “Moms Play Mah Jongg” crowd, Fox, is hoping this will become an annual event, held every February during Go Red For Women.

“As a mom, we know that caring for yourself sometimes comes last,” said Marisol Sierra, Vice President of Development for the local American Heart Association. “Women tend to be the CEO of their household and put everyone else’s needs first, but their individual health takes a backseat.”

Sierra said moms will know their clothing size numbers, but not the key personal health numbers that help determine their risk for heart disease – like total cholesterol, blood sugar, or blood pressure. “We want to bring awareness and encourage moms to take back physical control of their wellbeing.”

The all-day event includes lunch, raffles, a chance to win cash prizes, hearing from the American Heart Association, and of course, playing Mah Jongg.

“We want to encourage our community to reclaim their rhythm – that can mean reducing stress by listening to music or even by playing Mah Jongg,” Sierra said.

Moms Play Mah Jongg’s Inaugural Tournament in Honor of D (Jill’s mom) is $54 and takes place on Sunday, February 27, at the MiraLago Clubhouse. Registration is available on momsplaymahjongg.com.

Can’t make the tournament? You can still donate here.

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Author Profile

Sharon Aron Baron
Sharon Aron Baron
Sharon Aron Baron is a Parkland resident and editor of Talk Media. She has been covering Parkland news since 2012. Parkland Talk was created to provide News, Views, and Entertainment for the residents of Parkland.

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