The American Heart Association marked "99 Years of Saving Lives" at the annual Heart Ball on Feb. 24 at the Rogers Convention Center. The benefit's 850 guests helped the nonprofit organization raise some $850,000 to help support its mission to be "a relentless force for a world of longer healthier lives," Andi Clinton, corporate market director for the Heart Ball, tells me. Sheila Gamble of Sanofi and Vinima Shekhar of Walmart served as this year's Heart Ball chairwomen.
Ed Morgan, president of The Emerson Group, the event's Life Is Why Sponsor, kicked off the evening with a toast, telling guests: "Everything we do is made possible by you. Here's to you and the next 99 years."
For the evening's Open Your Heart fund drive, Mika McFadden, heart disease survivor, shared via video his and his family's experience with those gathered.
Presentation of Northwest Arkansas Sweethearts has long been a Heart Ball tradition. Organizers say: "The 2023 class has a different makeup than it has in its last 15-plus years of fundraising and activism for the American Heart Association." The 41 sweethearts were joined by 15 former Sweethearts "who wish to continue their work as advocates for the association." Sweethearts are high school sophomores "who come from all over the region to help eradicate heart disease and stroke."
Upcoming American Heart Association events in Northwest Arkansas include Go Red for Women on May 16 at the Rogers Convention Center. Nominated as the 2023 Women of Impact are Melissa Fleeman, Catie Beth Doyle, Ashley Hovermale, Haley Owen, Zuzuki Baltazar Monarez and Sonia Spinks. Nominees will spend the coming weeks raising money and awareness for the association.
"At the end of the campaign, this special group of changemakers will be celebrated for the overall impact they have on our mission and community. The nominee who makes the greatest impact and raises the most funds locally will be named a local 2023 Woman of Impact winner," organizers say.
Joining the The Emerson Group, Life Is Why sponsor, in supporting the evening were Bayer Health Care, Platform Sponsor; Sanofi, Legacy Sponsor; and Signature Sponsors, Haleon, Skinny Pop Popcorn and Ice Breakers.
Those gathering with the American Heart Association for the celebration included Ed Morgan, Tom McDonald, Misty Sauls, Dave Bealey, Danelle Cobb, Misty Quaid, Kyden Reeh, Catie Beth Doyle, Gus Morgan, Charlotte and Rick Wedding, Jane Douglas, Brian Beale and Gonzalo Torres.
For more event photos -- nwadg.com/photos/society.
Columnist Carin Schoppmeyer can be reached by email at [email protected]