BY TOM LAVIS
When organizers of this year’s Cambria-Somerset Heart Ball were searching for a theme, they chose a disco hit from the 1970s that has evolved into a lifesaving sound track for cardiac arrest victims around the world.
The Heart Ball will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 16 at Sunnehanna Country Club, Westmont.
People who normally favor formal wear for the black-tie optional event may feel a little out of place at this year’s gala.
Bill Moynihan of Richland Township, who along with Eileen Graham of Johnstown, are serving as co-chairpersons of the annual American Heart Association gala, said the theme is “Stayin’ Alive.”
“I can promise that people attending will see more than one leisure suit,” Moynihan said. “We are encouraging everyone to wear their best ’70s and ’80s attire for this fun-filled evening for a good cause.”
“Stayin Alive” has become more true to its name than the Bee Gees ever could have guessed. The heart association produced an instructional video that has gone viral.
The video’s message is simple. There are two steps: Dial 911 to summon help, then push fast and hard in the middle of the victim’s chest to the beat of “Stayin’ Alive” until help arrives.
The gala will generate funds to support education, research and awareness to prevent heart disease and stroke nationwide.
This year, the Heart Ball will honor Marty Radovanic, a WJAC-TV television personality and heart attack survivor, as Heart Hero and Open Your Heart Champion.
Also, the Heart Hall of Fame will induct Dr. V. Krishnan Nair, Somerset Hospital’s cardiology services medical director, for his work to improve the cardiovascular health of the community.
Nair said he is honored by his selection.
“I came to the rural community of Somerset to start and practice the best evidence-based cardiac care I could offer,” Nair said. “I’m proud to say that I streamlined cardiac care when it comes to prevention, diagnosis and treatment.”
Attendees will be able to enjoy hors d’oeuvres and popular 1970s cocktails such as Harvey Wallbangers and Moscow Mules during the social hour.
Attendees also can bid on silent auction items.
The live auction will feature golf packages, an Italian gourmet catered dinner, autographed sports memorabilia, jewelry, vacation getaways and other items.
The silent auction will include gift certificates, spa packages, sporting event tickets, appliances, jewelry, opera and symphony tickets, over-night getaways and artwork.
The ball will feature live music from Pittsburgh-based The Dancing Queen, billed as Pittsburgh’s hottest ’70s and ’80s disco, funk and dance band.
It will perform disco standards from such performers as ABBA, Commodores, Donna Summer and Earth, Wind & Fire.
Members of Westmont Concepts Dance Studio will get the audience into the dancing mood prior to the band taking the stage.
Last year, the Heart Ball raised more than $62,000, allowing American Heart Association to fund more than $123 million in research and programs across the country.
“Our goal is to raise $75,000 this year,” Moynihan said.
“Patrons will find envelopes at each table where they can make a pledge or do it online during the Open Your Heart Appeal.”
Cost of each ticket is $100.
Seating is limited to about 250.
Information: Contact Stephanie Fost at 954-7035 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Heart Ball website at www.heart.org/cambriapaheartball and click on event attendance.
What: 26th annual Cambria-Somerset Heart Ball.
Where: Sunnehanna Country Club, 1000 Sunnehanna Drive, Westmont.
When: 6 p.m. Feb. 16.
Tickets: Contact Stephanie Fost at 954-7035, email email@example.com or visit www.heart.org/cambriapaheartball.
Cost: $100 each, or included in corporate sponsorship packages.
Information: Dawn O’Connor at 941-3779.
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