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Heart Ball raises money for local programs

Wirtz Beverage Nevada received the 2012 Heart Award during the American Heart Association’s 22nd annual Heart Ball recently at The Mirage.

“An Evening in Old Las Vegas” was the theme of the event held by the Las Vegas affiliate of the American Heart Association. Money raised at the party will make possible several critical local programs and contribute to the association’s goals to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent.

Tammy Miller and Erin Russell gave inspirational talks. They shared their experiences of fighting congenital heart defects and surviving an unexpected stroke.

In particular, Russell was a healthy marathon runner who suffered a stroke at age 31. Once out of the hospital, she went to the American Heart Association and received support and encouragement to walk again.

Mistress of ceremonies was Sherry Swensk, weathercaster at KLAS-TV, Channel 8. Kevin Roberts, Wirtz Beverage senior vice president, accepted the Heart Award on his company’s behalf.

In keeping with the ball’s theme, dinner entertainment was provided by an orchestra accompanying impersonators of Rat Pack stars Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Joey Bishop as well as Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland.

Among the guests were Analia and William Jacks, Ellie Hirschfeld, Chris McGill, Jeanne and John Kilduff, Melinda and Bob Brown, Maggie Petrel, Sally and John Bedotto, Pia Zadora, Nicole Maroe and George Harris.

A silent auction offered jewelry, a Judith Leiber purse, Lake Mead cruises, show tickets, restaurant dinners, sports equipment and resort vacations among the many items for bid.

A live auction conducted by Hal Hines raised more than $14,000 for items that included an Arizona Diamondbacks baseball package; hotel, air and tour of Washington, D.C.; jewelry by Passman; House of Blues Foundation Room membership; and dinner for 10 at Mundo Restaurant that included tickets to the Pia Zadora show at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts.

Other guests enjoying the evening were James Hooban, Dick Rizzo, Teresa Cookson, Kendall Tenney, Verena King, Christine Lefkowitz, Amy Ayoub, Randy Garcia, Joyce and Steve Andree and Gaye Cote.

A special performance by Rick Faugno, formerly of “Jersey Boys,” concluded the event.

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