I Love………Giving Hearts

I love GIVING HEARTS. I went to the Heart Ball as the guest of my friend Diana McLaughlin-White on Saturday night. Diana is not only my friend but an amazing massage therapist, who owns Healing Hands Studio. Hmmmmm…….maybe I need to write about how much I love massages, but let’s leave that to another day. (But if you need one in the meantime….Diana is your woman. I can give you her number.)

Anyway, back to the Heart Ball. It’s a fundraiser for the American Heart Association. Fitting, huh? It’s a big, fancy “black tie optional” event. Lots of people attend. Really, lots. From a distance I saw people there I knew, but never got close enough to talk to them. I have since found out that some were there that I didn’t see at all. My friend Janie Stikeleather is on the planning committee and they did a great job. (Though if Janie is involved, you know “good cause” and “good event”).

So there were lots of beautifully dressed people. They smelled good. (Statesville cleans up nice!) The evening started with a silent auction. Tons and tons of silent auction items given by area businesses, individuals, and sports and entertainment celebrities. Some were valued in the thousands of dollars. Items for the home, items for play, vacations, parties, food, services of local businesses……they had it all. People were bidding away.

During dinner there was a live auction. More big ticket items. People came to spend, and they would bid over the valued amount. Significantly more sometimes. After the auction they asked who else wanted to give donations. Lots of paddles went up.

I’m not sure how much money was raised, but it was a good amount. We have a lot of big hearts here, that don’t just support the American Heart Association, but so many other local and national…and even international….charities besides.

It’s sometimes difficult to pull that wallet from your pocket, but it is pretty amazing to think we are able to give to an organization that helps educate, encourage, treat, and research these diseases that indiscriminately take our loved ones. It should be a privilege, not a chore. It’s great to be in a community that shows up to give to a good cause. One initiative of the Heart Association that I learned about on Saturday night was that high school students will soon have to learn CPR as a graduation requirement. I love that! I just may need them one day.

As a woman I am grateful that all that has been done to educate people and providers that the symptoms of heart attack are often difference for us. More research is necessary as to how we differ, and how treatment should be different, since this is still a fairly recent recognition. While deaths from heart attacks for men have dropped dramatically over the last few years, we’re not seeing that happen in women. Let’s keep funding research.

Heart Ball was a fun and informative night. Who knew that you could do hands-only CPR to the beat of the BeeGees “Staying Alive” and save a life? It seems you can. Good to know! Though I will probably be yelling “What BeeGees song was it?” Remember for me. (And Heart.com, the American Heart Association website, has a lot of great information if you want to learn more.)

For those who planned, and sponsored, and gave, and just showed up, thank you. I love seeing our community at work….and play…for a good cause. Diana McLaughlin-White, thanks for inviting me and being such a great table host. It was great to see what happens at a Heart Ball, because I love to see giving hearts!

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