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A month after having surgery to repair a rare heart condition, John Flake was front and center at Heart Ball 2019 on March 2.

Flake and his wife, Karen, were co-chairmen of this year's event. From the stage, Karen Flake told of her husband's heart condition and his Feb. 1 surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Heart Ball is a major fundraising event for the American Heart Association of Central Arkansas. At the event, 66 Heart Ball Sweethearts were presented. The sweethearts are high school sophomores who spend months learning about heart disease and performing volunteer work.

Grace Barnett received the Sotomora Service Award for the most volunteer hours -- 317. Eileen and Dr. Ricardo Sotomora created the award in 1998. The $5,000 Allison Justice Scholarship award was presented to Mary Kathryn Nelson. Allison Justice was a 2007 sweetheart who died in a car wreck. At the time of her death, she held the record for the most volunteer hours.

The night also included silent and live auctions. Six items were bought during the live auction including seven nights in Cabo San Lucas, $8,500; a diamond necklace donated by Sissy's Log Cabin that featured a 2-carat yellow diamond surrounded by a total of one carat in white diamonds; $10,000; and a one week Rhode Island getaway vacation, $5,500.

The three-course dinner began with tuna tartare. The main course was grilled filet, asiago risotto, grilled asparagus, chopped red peppers and a blackberry demiglace. Dessert was Irish cream cheesecake or chocolate Mikado. Music was by Dizzy7.

Gallery: Heart Ball

High Profile on 03/10/2019

Print Headline: Ball had by all

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