On Saturday, March 4, over 350 supporters of the American Heart Association joined the 2023 Heart of Greater Washington Chair, Vishal Tulsian of SAIC for the Heart Ball. Hosted at the Salamander Washington DC, guests bid, dined and dance in honor of their connection to the mission of the American Heart Association as a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives.
“The Heart Ball is a celebration of the year-long Heart of Greater Washington campaign led by Vishal Tulsian and SAIC,” said American Heart Association, Greater Washington Region Executive Director, Soula Antoniou. “We’re so thankful for the tireless dedication of our volunteer leaders, like Vishal, and all of our sponsors and guests who drive our mission forward for a world where all people can, not only, survive but thrive!”
Guests enjoyed a pre-event cocktail reception and silent auction before transitioning to the glittering gold-adorned grand ballroom for dinner. Throughout the evening, event leaders including Antoniou, Tulsian, Association Board President, Kelly Epps-Anderson, M.D., Board Chair Owen Billman and the Association’s Eastern States Executive Vice President, Nicole Sapio shared remarks highlighting the campaign theme, the mind-heart-body connection, the interconnection of one’s physical health to mental health and overall well-being.
“When I learned about the American Heart Association’s study on the Mind-Heart-Body connection – how psychological health and stress can contribute to physical health and disease – it spoke to me, said Tulsian. “Through this campaign, we will save and improve lives, pioneer scientific discovery and advocate for healthy public policies now and for generations to come,” said Tulsian.
Supporters raised their bid cards during a rousing live auction led by auctioneer Tom Stebbins that featured exclusive travel experiences to Iceland and Jamaica. During the Open Your Heart appeal, honoree Krysta Pearce shared her story of survival. As a busy 30-year-old, always on the move and buzzing from one thing to the next Pearce’s life changed forever during a routine outpatient surgery. Her heart stopped for seven minutes. Now at 32, she shares her story to remind each of us of what connects us to the mission of the American Heart Association and the need for prioritizing better health for ourselves and our community. “During my outpatient procedure, my heart had enough, it was the final stressor that caused my mind and my heart to call it quits. I can share my story thanks to CPR and the chain of survival fueled by advancements from the American Heart Association,” said Pearce. “My hope is that people see elements of me in themselves or someone they love and that this connection inspires change and a positive impact.” Watch Pearce’s full story here.
The stage program concluded with Billman and Sapio announcing that Karen and Dale White have accepted the roles of Second Century Chairs for the 2024 Heart of Greater Washington campaign. 2024 will mark the 100th year of the American Heart Association. “In 2024, we’re kicking off the next 100 years of continued innovation and progress toward a world where all have the same opportunity for a long and healthy life. It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime moment. I can’t wait to see all that’s to come,” said Sapio.
The evening continued late into the night as guests enjoyed a dessert reception and danced the night away to a live band at the afterparty, “Heart After Dark.”
The Heart Ball is the culmination of the year-round Heart of Greater Washington Campaign, which this year will raise $1M to advance the mission-critical work of the American Heart Association. Thank you to our 2023 sponsors including, SAIC, the Bender Foundation, Kurt Rieschick Memorial Fund, Veritas Capital, ASRC Federal, Children’s National Medical Center, Anybill, Giant, Deloitte, Guidehouse, Lindblad Expeditions, MedStar Health, Mercedes-Benz of Arlington, Sheehy Auto Stores, KPMG, UnitedHealthcare, Vidoori, Cindy & Mac Curtis, Cognitive Medical Systems, EagleBank, Karen & Dale White, Linda Gooden & Laird Lott, Patti & Rob Franklin, Summit Technologies, Synapse Business Systems, WashingtonExec.
Get involved with the Heart of Greater Washington Campaign today! https://ahagwr.ejoinme.org/MyEvents/20222023GreaterWashingtonRegionHeartBall/Donate/tabid/1310984/Default.aspx
Photos Courtesy of: Connor Mclaren Photography