More than 260 Lancaster County business and community leaders attended the 35th annual Lancaster Heart Ball on Saturday, Feb. 1 at the Lancaster Country Club. The event raised more than $220,000 to support the American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, thanks in large part to the testimony of the Moran family of Mount Joy.
Austin and Addie Moran shared the story of welcoming their daughter Shiloh into the world in August 2019. Two days later, as they were getting ready to take her home from the hospital, they learned that doctors discovered four congenital heart defects. She battled a staph infection before being able to undergo life-saving open heart surgery to correct her heart defects. She continues to be monitored closely and will be returning for a stent-placement procedure due to a re-narrowing of her aorta, but the Moran’s are hopeful and enjoy seeing Shiloh grow into a healthy baby.
Children born with critical congenital heart defects like Shiloh’s have a much greater chance to enjoy a long and healthy life than they could only a few decades ago thanks to the advanced detection and surgical interventions available today. The American Heart Association has funded more than $3.8 billion in heart disease and stroke research, including research that led to the development of stents.
“It’s amazing that her life can be stabilized and repaired due to someone way back when making a donation to discover the technology and medical device that has become what it is today,” said Austin Moran. “We were so lucky to have family, friends, church and workplaces supporting us. Without that, I don’t know how people do it.”
Other highlights of the evening included a performance by American Music Theatre to welcome guests and set the Heart of the Forest theme, the Keep the Beat Dance Hour featuring songs that are the correct tempo for performing Hands-Only CPR, a heart-healthy dinner, a silent and live auction, and musical entertainment by The Uptown Band.
Diane Murry & Bill Coder presented the second Kim McNabb and Glenn L. Myers Friend of Heart Award to Jim & Laurie Martin and Andrea McCormick & Michael Smith of American Music Theatre in honor of their commitment to providing exciting entertainment and design services to the Lancaster Heart Ball since 1985. The award was named after long-time Heart Ball committee member and American Heart Association volunteer Kim McNabb who passed away of a heart-related illness in 2018.
Funds raised will support the American Heart Association’s mission to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives through community education, public policy advocacy, healthcare quality improvement and investment in lifesaving research.
Barry Mitchneck, director of nursing for UPMC Pinnacle, is serving as the event’s chair. The Heart Ball is sponsored locally by the Gunterberg Charitable Foundation, The E.E. Murry Family Foundation, UPMC Pinnacle, The Byler Family Trust, Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, Fulton Bank, WellSpan Health, American Music Theatre, Orthopedic Associates of Lancaster, Barley Snyder Attorneys, Cargas Systems, Jones Family of Dealerships, M&T Bank and other local supporters.
For more information about American Heart Association events in Lancaster County, visit www.heart.org/lancaster.