American Heart Association Heart Ball raises $1.3 million


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Things were really pumping during the hot-blooded American Heart Association's annual Heart Ball at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center Saturday night. The spicy Spanish theme, "Corazon de Fuego" (Heart of Fire), gave heartburn a new meaning. No time for a siesta at this party, thanks to a program that kept the speeches short and the entertainment going including a live auction, the sensual guitar sounds of Jon Banuelos, Alba Flamenca music and dancing to No Bad Ju Ju. The nearly 900 guests helped raise $1.3 million to fight the number one killer of Americans, heart disease. Dr. Ronald Pellegrini and clinical supervisor of UPMC Stroke Institute, Lori Massaro, were honored with the Peter J. Safar Pulse of Pittsburgh Award and the Mary Ann Scully Excellence in Nursing Award, respectively, for their efforts in the battle to educate and restore health. Kim Tillotson Fleming (with Curt) hosted the VIP reception where awardees were treated to accolades and a champagne toast. Morgan O'Brien (with Kathy) chaired the ball.

There was plenty of circulating from the VIP reception into the main cocktail party with no blockages at the bars or appetizer stations. A flamenco dancer with a steel hoop skirt that carried champagne made sure no one went thirsty. Enjoying this unique taste of Spain were National Go Red spokeswoman Amy Heinl, Pirates owner Bob Nutting with Leslie, WTAE's Wendy Bell with Dr. Joe O'Toole, Dr. George and Jami Magovern, Dr. Srinivas Murali with Dr. Marie Baldisseri, Jill and Bob Sandilla, Rick and Linda Shaw, Judge Nora Barry Fischer with Dr. Don Fischer, Charlie and Latasha Batch, Dan Gillman with Keara McKenna and emcees Bob Pompeani (with Lisa) and Susan Koeppen, both of KDKA TV.

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First Published February 26, 2013 5:00 AM


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