The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

February 5, 2012

Chip Minemyer | Getting ‘Airborne’ to promote heart health

Chip Minemyer

— A man who has lifted the hearts of many Pittsburgh Penguins fans will be in Johnstown soon to help elevate the cause of heart health.

Jeff Jimerson – well known regionally for his performances of the national anthem before Penguins games – will bring his band Airborne to Sunnehanna Country Club on Feb. 18 to entertain the crowd at the 2012 Cambria-Somerset Heart Ball.

The theme for the night is “Puttin’ On The Ritz,” and the event will feature dinner, a short program, live and silent auctions, and music and dancing.

Jimerson and his band performed during the 2011 Heart Ball, and they were quickly afterward scheduled for this year’s gathering.

“Jeff Jimerson has always provided such lively entertainment for the event,” said Dawn O’Connor of the American Heart Association’s regional office in Altoona.

In fact, this will be Jimerson’s third trip to town for the Heart Ball.

“We look forward to this year being even more fun with a ’20s-themed spin on things,” O’Connor said.

Entertainment Unlimited of Pittsburgh handles promotions and booking for Jeff Jimerson and Airborne.

Marty Mundy, a representative with the company, said, “When you go anywhere with Jeff, it’s truly like traveling with a celebrity.”

Mundy added: “We were together recently at a chamber of commerce event and everybody wanted to get a picture with him. I bet I held 10 cell phones for people who wanted pictures with Jeff. It’s always, ‘Here, can you get my picture?’ Or, ‘Uh, sir, could you move to the side, please?’

“It’s almost a cult following with him.”

Jimerson also performs with Pittsburgh pop artist B.E. Taylor. They were on the field together on Dec. 24 at Heinz Field before, and during halftime of, the Steelers’ game against the St. Louis Rams.

Of course, Jimerson and Taylor performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” prior to kickoff.

During a 2009 interview with the Valley News Dispatch newspaper in Tarentum, Jimerson said people will often see him out and about and call out: “Hey, you’re that anthem guy.”

Jimerson said: “I can’t tell you how many times people request the national anthem at Airborne gigs. ... Or you call for a take-out order and you say ‘Jimerson,’ and they’ll say, ‘You’re not that anthem guy, are you?’ ”

Jimerson helps with fundraising at numerous Pittsburgh community events and appeared in the 1997 movie “Sudden Death” – filmed in Pittsburgh and starring Jean-Claude Van Damme.

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I’ve had the privilege of serving on the Heart Ball planning committee for three years, and this year as co-chairman with Bill Moynihan of Northrop Grumman.

A lot of people have been working very hard to make the 2012 party a winner.

Dawn O’Connor and Stephanie Fost of the American Heart Association are key players in making this event special.

Committee members also include Dr. Robert Pickerill and Lou Sciullo of Conemaugh Health System, Eileen Graham of E.G. Consultants, Michelle Bills of Concurrent Technologies Corp., and Helen Dugan of Coldwell Banker.

Graham headed up the auction committee and her team also did a fantastic job developing the “Ritz” theme for the evening.

WJAC-TV’s Marty Radovanic will be master of ceremonies for the ball, which will also feature the annual Heart Hero and something new – the first member of our Heart Hall of Fame.

Mostly, the night will be about having lots of fun while raising money for a great cause – fighting heart disease.

If you need more information about tickets or corporate sponsorships, feel free to contact me at either the email address or phone number that accompany this column, or visit the website listed in the information box at right.

Hope to see you at the  2012 Cambria-Somerset Heart Ball.

Chip Minemyer is the editor of The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at 532-5091.

Feel the beat

What: Cambria/Somerset Heart Ball.

Theme: “Puttin’ On The Ritz.”

When: Saturday, Feb. 18.

Where: Sunnehanna Country Club, Westmont.

Entertainment: Airborne with Jeff Jimerson.

Tickets: $100 each, or included in corporate sponsorship packages.

On the web: Learn more about the Heart Ball and the “Open Your Heart” campaign at paheartball

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