Who Will You Give For?

Porters co-chair­ing Heart Ball fundraiser

The Sentinel-Record - HER - Hot Springs - - Features -

Dr. Lance and Dee Ann Porter have had a long in­volve­ment with the an­nual Heart Ball, serv­ing as cochairs for the 2014 event, which they hope will raise over $100,000 for the Amer­i­can Heart As­so­ci­a­tion.

The AHA, in turn, uses the funds for re­search, ed­u­ca­tion, nutritional pro­grams for peo­ple of all ages, heart healthy ex­er­cise pro­grams and set­ting guide­lines for 2,000 hos­pi­tals na­tion­wide.

“The funds, on a large scale, are go­ing to 980 dif­fer­ent car­dio­vas­cu­lar re­search projects and reach 80,000 stu­dents and par­ents to en­cour­age them to have healthy eat­ing habits. On the state scale, there are seven cut­ting-edge car­dio­vas­cu­lar re­search projects and a lot of up­dates to cur­rent treat­ments,” Dee Ann said.

Lance, who is a den­tist, said he has learned sev­eral things over the years that he passes on to his pa­tients.

“We have re­ally come to re­al­ize how im­por­tant den­tal and oral health is in the first step to pre­vent heart disease and stroke. It’s all con­nected, and it starts at the mouth,” he said.

This year’s Heart Ball theme is “Who Will You Give For.” It is set for Feb. 15 in Horner Hall at the Hot Springs Con­ven­tion Center.

“The Heart Ball is typ­i­cally one of the big­gest events in our com­mu­nity ev­ery year, and the sup­port we get is tremen­dous. It’s usu­ally a sell­out,” Lance said. The Porters are chair­ing a com­mit­tee of vol­un­teers who, in their words, have been ded­i­cated for sev­eral months in try­ing to make this year’s event the big­gest and best ever. “There were 550 who at­tended last year, and Hot Springs has set the bar for other Heart Balls as we have typ­i­cally su­per­seded goals. The Hot Springs com­mu­nity and the sur­round­ing area is a very gen­er­ous and giv­ing one. This starts with our com­mit­tee, and this year we con­ducted a trial run on a two-com­mit­tee struc­ture,” Lance ex­plained. Over 50 peo­ple are in­volved in some way to make

the Heart Ball a re­al­ity with the Porters over­see­ing a reg­u­lar com­mit­tee of 11 peo­ple that are tend­ing to the spe­cific de­tails, while an ex­ec­u­tive team, com­posed of 10 com­mu­nity lead­ers, are re­spon­si­ble for gath­er­ing cor­po­rate spon­sor­ship for the ball.

“They are all do­ing a fan­tas­tic job. We couldn’t ask more of them,” Dee Ann said.

The Porters have worked in the past help­ing to se­cure spon­sor­ship, and the en­tire Heart Ball has be­come a fam­ily tra­di­tion for them. Lance’s fa­ther has given a tes­ti­mony at the Heart Ball af­ter suf­fer­ing a heart at­tack at age 54, but re­cov­ered be­cause of the ex­cel­lent treat­ment he re­ceived thanks to new re­search and tech­niques.

Their daugh­ters are in­volved as well in the Sweet­hearts di­vi­sion, which is com­posed of high school-aged stu­dents in the area who work to pro­mote a hearthealthy life­style. Their old­est daugh­ter Han­nah was a Sweet­heart last year, and their other daugh­ter Made­lyn was a Ju­nior Sweet­heart in 2006.

“The Sweet­hearts, led by Kathryn Rus­sel, are won­der­ful in en­gag­ing young peo­ple to start off with a healthy life­style through ex­er­cise and eat­ing prop­erly,” Dee Ann said.

“Heart disease doesn’t dis­crim­i­nate on age, race or gen­der. It can hit any­one at any­time if you aren’t lead­ing a healthy life­style to keep your heart strong. That’s what the Heart Ball is all about, and at this year’s event, we plan to have tes­ti­monies of peo­ple who have come back from a car­diac episode through the new break­throughs in re­search along with teach­ing them how to eat a proper diet and ex­er­cise,” Lance added.

The Sweet­hearts are also work­ing to help raise money for the AHA and will con­duct a pro­gram as part of the evening’s fes­tiv­i­ties, which be­gins with din­ner at 7 p.m.

Af­ter the 7 p.m. din­ner, the Sweet­hearts will dance with their fa­thers and have a pro­gram as well. Mu­sic is be­ing pro­vided by the band “May­day at Mid­night.”

An ed­u­ca­tional video will be pre­sented along with tes­ti­mo­ni­als and a live auc­tion.

The four big­gest items on the auc­tion block are a weekend on a house­boat on Lake Oua­chita, a duck hunt­ing trip, an artist proof paint­ing from Dee Arthur Wil­son, world-renowned artist and for­mer Hot Springs res­i­dent who now lives in Florida, and box seats for up to 20 peo­ple to see a St. Louis Car­di­nals base­ball game in April.

“We have a lot of great items up for auc­tion, which will be key in help­ing us reach our goal of $100,000, along with the cor­po­rate spon­sor­ships and the ticket sales,” Dee Ann said.

Tick­ets to the 2014 Heart Ball are $125 and may be pur­chased online at http://hot­spring­s­heart­ball.ahaevents.org or by call­ing 870-703-9502.

2014 Sweet­hearts

Hot Springs High School – Anna But­ler. Lake­side High School – Lauren Al­ford, Chan­dler Carter, Hol­ley Coker, Sum­mer Coker, Erin Davis, Emily Dunn, Kathryn Gar­ner, Lo­gan Gas­ton, Haleigh Horner, Nena Ig­bokidi, Lauren Ir­win, Ali­cia Kali­nowsky, Ha­ley Knighten, Abby Leal, Lauren Love­lady, Cather­ine Aseguera, Tay­lor Pre­ston, Rai Pullin, Emma Rea­gan, Kait­lyn Rhodes, Anna Soto, Payton Toland, Faith Twyford, Al­lie Wil­liams and Chloe Wor­ley.

Lake Hamil­ton High School – Mag­gie Glover, Lisa Goss, Keily Hecke, Eleanor Henson, Madi­son Kilby, Mal­lory Mixon, Ha­ley Moore and Han­nah Moore.

Story by JEFF SMITH

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