Monday, February 18, 2008

After months of work, Heart Ball 2008 was a smashing success!!

I've been an advocate with the American Heart Association for almost 8 years. During that time I've worked as a board member, a state and national spokesperson, and for the last two years a grass roots advocate (that's a nice word for lobbyist!). However, I have to say that my most recent role has been one of the most enjoyable and most fiscally rewarding for the AHA. Last March my husband and I were asked to become part of one of the nations leading fund raising events for the AHA, the Central Arkansas Heart Ball. One can volunteer for the AHA for decades and not be asked to be part of this event, so even the invitation was thrilling. Better still was the fact that I was asked to be part of the auction board; the individuals who actually find the items that make this event the fund raising success it is. Believe it or not, Arkansas has the largest and most successful Heart Ball in the nation. This year the Heart Ball director, Carol Dyer, was awarded the AHA's highest commendation for her efforts with making the ball what it has become.
What began as a series of brainstorming sessions for the auction committee turned into a superb evening of fund raising. We were so blessed to have donor support from around the state, and even several generous donors from outside our borders. Silent and live auction items were received very warmly by those in attendance, and at the end of the evening we were able to raise slightly more than 1.1 million dollars for the AHA! That number is mind blowing for me. I've worked for the better part of a decade on Heart Walks across the nation. Most walks are lucky to raise $25,000 to $35,000, with some of the largest in the $200,000 range. To be part of an event that raises that much money for this life saving institution in one evening was just so humbling and rewarding. God has blessed me so richly through my work with the AHA. I know that each heart I touch through the AHA I am also touching for Him.