Heart advocates remembered fondly at fundraiser

The second annual Flavors of the Heart fundraiser, held Sept. 8 at the World Market Center Las Vegas, had something for every appetite. Tidbits at the epicurean event included a prickly pear salad, shrimp cocktail, crabcakes and a delectably healthful smoothie from Greens and Proteins.

Flavors of the Heart was hosted by the American Heart Association and posthumously recognized two of its hardest- working champions, John McNeil and Shelly Vorce. McNeil implemented educational and rehabilitation programs.

“He was, unfortunately, affected by the same stroke that he was trying to prevent for years,” said Jason Belland, executive director of the American Heart and Stroke Association for this area.

Vorce was the voice of the Las Vegas Police K-9 Trials and died from complications from a severe stroke at 48.

Sabra McWhirter, director of community heart and stroke programs, described the new Saving Strokes program. “It’s rehabilitation through golf,” she said. “People who had strokes will benefit greatly because of the hand-eye coordination, the balance that goes into that particular sport.”

Annarella Jordan, health equity director for the American Heart and Stroke Association, said nutrients come from our food intake “so you are what you eat … when we eat out, we want to eat healthy also.”

Glazier’s, Garfield’s, Roy’s, Pura Vida and Hash House A Go Go were included in the restaurant lineup. About 500 attendees sampled the nutritious fare.

Misty Grimmer and Cindy Creighton were there because they had such a great time last year, they wanted to repeat the experience. Both their fathers have heart issues. Creighton’s father died in 2001.

Carrie Byrns was checking out the smoothie samples. Her escort was Jeffrey Arnold. Carla Alston works at the Metropolitan Police Department and was there in support of a co-worker who died last September. Drew and Kris Eckhardt missed last year’s event for a happy reason: They had a baby boy.

Damon Millett said it was not a hard job to taste test all the food. Jerimy and KC West got recipe ideas. He said they try to eat healthfully but it was nice to see a variety of foods, “something different than chicken or fish.”

Betty Wagner looked elegant in her “princess” dress. “I’m here to represent all the princesses all over and get the message out on how to eat properly,” Wagner said.

Linda Flynn attended with husband Jerry. Marie Mortera of KSNV-TV, Channel 3 was mistress of ceremonies.

Silent auction items included an outdoor barbecue, jewelry, staycations, dinners, airline tickets, cooking classes and framed art. Framed photography done by Vorce were on sale as part of the fundraiser. Her mother, Carol Wilcox, attended.

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