Tree of Life: Heart Ball Stands Strong for Heart Health

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From left: Lina Lawson, Donna Adam, Jose Carrera, Tina Gandy

On Saturday, February 27, hundreds will gather to celebrate another year of saving lives and healing hearts at the American Heart Association Brazos County Heart Ball.

The theme of this year’s annual black-tie affair, “Tree of Life,” was inspired by the majestic Live Oak trees surrounding the grounds of the Miramont Country Club where the Heart Ball is held. However, “Tree of Life” also speaks to the mission of the American Heart Association and the community here in the Brazos Valley.

The AHA’s mission of building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke is based upon the organization’s strong roots to research, education, and outreach that have led to extraordinary advances in cardiovascular health and a decline in heart-related deaths for the past 50 years. These successes, and the continuous need for further education to prevent heart disease, are made possible thanks in large part to the generosity and leadership of the Brazos Valley family. Throughout the past 21 years, the Brazos County Heart Ball has contributed an incredible amount to fighting heart disease and stroke.

The Heart Ball attracts hundreds of local philanthropic-minded folks from the business and medical sectors, many who participate year after year. The co-chairwomen of the 2016 event, twin sisters Lina Lawson and Tina Gandy, are leading the fundraising initiative for the second year in a row. The presenting sponsor, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center, has been a bedrock of support for the association’s lifesaving mission. Well-known locals to Bryan/College Station demonstrate that roots run deep in the Heart of Texas: long-time patroness Donna Adam; Mike Wright, the general manager of KBTX-TV Channel 3 will serve as emcee; and Wayne Wheat will serve as auctioneer.

The “Tree of Life” branches out in a few new directions for this year’s event, beginning with a VIP Cocktail Hour before the gala dinner where guests can mingle and enjoy entertainment from The Argyles. The limited and exclusive live auction –which features trips to Carmel and Mexico, golf packages, and shopping sprees– will be complemented by an upscale silent auction. The silent auction includes cosmetic spa packages, dinners, jewelry, and more. Guests can expect a sumptuous dinner, an evening of fun and entertainment, and, finally, the chance to dance the night away to a live band.

Last year, AHA funded more than $1.01 million in heart disease and stroke research in the B/CS area including eight projects at Texas A&M University and TAMU Health Science Center. Unfortunately, more than $430,000 in meritorious research went unfunded. Closing the funding gap is critical to advancing the AHA’s lifesaving mission by supporting innovative research and technology. This year, the Brazos Country Heart Ball aims to raise $300,000, to sow the seeds for the next generation of cardiovascular health.

For more information on “Tree of Life” Brazos County Heart Ball, contact Brittany.Cervantes@heart.org or visit brazoscountyheartball.heart.org or facebook.com/ahaheartoftexas.