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Hearts beat together for one day

Association launchesWoman of Impact by Carin Schoppmeyer | April 11, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.
Tom McDonald, Heart Ball co-chairman (center), is joined by his family Mitch McDonald (from left), Sarah Newton and Maggie and Justin McDonald at the American Heart Association fundraiser Feb. 21 at the John Q. Hammons Center in Rogers. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Carin Schoppmeyer)

Backers of Paint the Town Red, the Heart Ball and Go Red for Women will have the opportunity to experience a little of all three signature events on May 21 when the Northwest Arkansas area of the American Heart Association plays host to the Heart of Northwest Arkansas.

Organizers say: "The combined digital event has something for everyone: health-conscious women and men who have and would have attended the AHA's annual Go Red for Women luncheon; fans of the yearly Heart Ball, a black-tie optional seated dinner, auction and dance; and millennial professionals and others who are drawn to the annual Paint the Town Red party with a purpose." The theme, "Bringing Our Hearts Together," is a nod to the cooperation of association staff and event chairmen in bringing together these fundraisers for one blockbuster benefit.

The benefit will feature stories of Northwest Arkansans whose lives have been affected by heart disease and stroke. Guests will also learn the way the association puts local funds to work to combat the nation's No. 1 and No. 5 killers.

The organization recently announced the inaugural class of "Woman of Impact" nominees. The new initiative is part of the association's Go Red for Women movement. Nominees are selected for their passion for the mission of the American Heart Association and engage their personal and professional networks to join them in supporting its mission and work. Nominees will conclude an eight-week fundraising campaign April 18 with the top fundraiser being named this year's Woman of Impact on April 30 and introduced at the May 21 event.

The 2021 nominees are:

• Dr. Maria Baldasare, an interventional cardiologist with Northwest Health;

• Gena Johnson Bumgarner, vice president of sales and distribution K-12, Tyson Foods Inc.;

• Stephanie Martinez, sales and replenishment analyst, PPI Beauty;

• Tina Winham, Walmart Outdoor lead, Spin Master; and

• Kristine Joji-Wood, senior merchandise director, fresh bakery, Walmart.

The 2021 class of 47 American Heart Association Sweethearts will also be introduced during the benefit. The girls are high school sophomores who spent the past nine months doing volunteer work while learning the importance of a heart-healthy life.

Each Heart of Northwest Arkansas registered guest will receive a party box, goody bag and a meal. The event will also include live and silent auctions and special entertainment. Guests are encouraged to participate safely in groups at home, exercising covid-19 precautions.

Chairmen of the combined event include Marlena Bond, vice president, private brand consumables, Walmart; Jason Fremstad, vice president, adult beverage, Walmart; Silvia Azrai Kawas, vice president, private brand grocery, Walmart; Diana Marshall, executive vice president, hardlines, Walmart; Tom McDonald, Bayer Consumer Health, Walmart and Sam's Club VP and team leader; Megan Timberlake, Walmart team lead, beauty, health and grooming, Procter & Gamble; and Venessa Yates, vice president, snacks, Walmart.

For more event photos -- nwadg.com/photos/society.

Columnist Carin Schoppmeyer can be reached by email at [email protected]

NWA Democrat-Gazette/CARIN SCHOPPMEYER Michael and Marlena Bond help support The Jones Center on May 30.
NWA Democrat-Gazette/CARIN SCHOPPMEYER Michael and Marlena Bond help support The Jones Center on May 30.
NWA Democrat-Gazette/CARIN SCHOPPMEYER Silvia Azrai-Kawas (from left), Jody Penson and Debbie Alsup, 2020 Go Red for Women co-chairwomen, welcome American Heart Association supporters to the Healthy, Beautiful You Circle of Red kick-off Oct. 3 at Haxton Road Studios in Bentonville.
NWA Democrat-Gazette/CARIN SCHOPPMEYER Silvia Azrai-Kawas (from left), Jody Penson and Debbie Alsup, 2020 Go Red for Women co-chairwomen, welcome American Heart Association supporters to the Healthy, Beautiful You Circle of Red kick-off Oct. 3 at Haxton Road Studios in Bentonville.
NWA Democrat-Gazette/CARIN SCHOPPMEYER Diana Marshall (left) and Kimberly Joubert, Go Red for Women co-chairwomen, visit with Dr. Phill McGraw after the American Heart Association fundraiser May 21.
NWA Democrat-Gazette/CARIN SCHOPPMEYER Diana Marshall (left) and Kimberly Joubert, Go Red for Women co-chairwomen, visit with Dr. Phill McGraw after the American Heart Association fundraiser May 21.
Barbara Putman and Peter Lane, Walton Arts Center CEO (from left); Masquerade Ball honorary chairwoman Judith McKenna and Phil Dutton; Megan Timberlake and Jessica Hendrix, event co-chairwomen, welcome guests to the benefit Feb. 22 at the arts center in Fayetteville. 
(NWA Democrat-Gazette/Carin Schoppmeyer)
Barbara Putman and Peter Lane, Walton Arts Center CEO (from left); Masquerade Ball honorary chairwoman Judith McKenna and Phil Dutton; Megan Timberlake and Jessica Hendrix, event co-chairwomen, welcome guests to the benefit Feb. 22 at the arts center in Fayetteville. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Carin Schoppmeyer)
STAFF PHOTO CARIN SCHOPPMEYER Jason and Katie Fremsted, from left, and Louis Greth visit at the Wine Opener.
STAFF PHOTO CARIN SCHOPPMEYER Jason and Katie Fremsted, from left, and Louis Greth visit at the Wine Opener.
Gena Johnson Bumgarner, vice president of sales and distribution K-12, Tyson Foods Inc., is a member of the inaugural class of Go Red for Women “Woman of Impact” nominees.

(Courtesy photo)
Gena Johnson Bumgarner, vice president of sales and distribution K-12, Tyson Foods Inc., is a member of the inaugural class of Go Red for Women “Woman of Impact” nominees. (Courtesy photo)
Stephanie Martinez, sales and replenishment analyst, PPI Beauty, is a member of the inaugural class of Go Red for Women “Woman of Impact” nominees.

(Courtesy photo)
Stephanie Martinez, sales and replenishment analyst, PPI Beauty, is a member of the inaugural class of Go Red for Women “Woman of Impact” nominees. (Courtesy photo)
Tina Winham, Walmart Outdoor lead, Spin Master, is a member of the inaugural class of Go Red for Women “Woman of Impact” nominees.

(Courtesy photo)
Tina Winham, Walmart Outdoor lead, Spin Master, is a member of the inaugural class of Go Red for Women “Woman of Impact” nominees. (Courtesy photo)
Kristine Joji-Wood, Walmart senior merchandise director – fresh bakery, is a member of the inaugural class of Go Red for Women “Woman of Impact” nominees.

(Courtesy photo)
Kristine Joji-Wood, Walmart senior merchandise director – fresh bakery, is a member of the inaugural class of Go Red for Women “Woman of Impact” nominees. (Courtesy photo)
Dr. Maria Baldasare, an interventional cardiologist with Northwest Health, is a member of the inaugural class of Go Red for Women “Woman of Impact” nominees.

(Courtesy photo)
Dr. Maria Baldasare, an interventional cardiologist with Northwest Health, is a member of the inaugural class of Go Red for Women “Woman of Impact” nominees. (Courtesy photo)
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At a Glance

Heart of Northwest Arkansas

Who: Northwest Arkansas area of the American Heart Association

What: Digital event combining the Heart Ball, Go Red for Women and Paint the Town Red

When: May 21

Where: heart.org/heartofnwa

Registration: $150

Information: (479) 439-6800 or [email protected]

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