NPMC Introduces 2013 AHA SweetheartsOctober 2, 2012
For the 7th consecutive year, National Park Medical Center is proud to sponsor the American Heart Association’s annual Sweetheart program for the 2013 Heart Ball. The AHA Sweethearts are a group of High School Sophomore & Junior young ladies who make a commitment to learn about cardiovascular disease and lead healthy lifestyles by participating in numerous heart healthy activities over a four-month period. “We are excited about what a great group of young ladies we have in this year’s program and proud of the positive impact we can make on the heart health and education of these teens and their families,” said NPMC Marketing Director, Mandy Golleher. “The Sweetheart program plays a positive role in our community through the awareness created and the funds raised for heart disease education and research. We are so grateful to the Russell’s for their continued dedication to the program.”
The Hot Springs AHA Sweetheart program began in 2007 when Kathryn and Paul Russell were seeking a way to raise awareness about heart disease in young women after the sudden and tragic loss of their daughter, Caroline Grace, to a suspected undetected heart condition. The one Sweetheart who demonstrates the most dedication to the program and the most knowledge of cardiovascular disease will receive the title of “Sweetheart of the Ball” at the 2013 Heart Ball, which is scheduled for Saturday, March 2, at Horner Hall. The Sweetheart of the Ball receives the $2,000.00 Caroline Grace Russell Memorial Scholarship, which was established by the Russell’s to honor the memory of their daughter. She will also receive custom Sweetheart Jewelry designed by Lauray’s—The Diamond Center. The 2012 Sweetheart of the Ball was Sabrina Chambers. Additional awards are given for leadership, volunteering, fundraising and the very special Catie Cooper Spirit Award, created in memory of 2010 “forever sweetheart,” Catie Cooper who was tragically lost during her tenure as a sweetheart.
Throughout the 4-month Sweetheart program, the young ladies participate in heart-healthy activities and educational opportunities which include fundraising for the American Heart Association, volunteering at National Park Medical Center, certification in infant and adult CPR provided by NPMC, a cardiovascular exercise day with Amy Johnson and Michelle Bell, a tour of the NPMC Cardiac Cath Labs, a LifeNet-sponsored ambulance dispatch ride-along, Father-Daughter Bar-b-que sponsored by Smokin’ In Style and a Mother/Daughter Luncheon sponsored by Lauray’s the Diamond Center, where Mark and Patti Fleischner will present each sweetheart with a special gift. Sweethearts are also required to write an essay about cardiovascular disease which is graded by an NPMC Cardiology Specialist. At the end of the 4-month program the Sweethearts are presented by their fathers, with whom they perform a specially choreographed dance by DanceArts Studio at the AHA Heart Ball.
The 2013 American Heart Association Sweethearts are as pictured, front row: Peyton Rudisill, Hannah Porter, Kalli Sassaman, Courtney Teeter, Jacy Ann Chavis, Christine Nguyen, Avani Patel, Stephanie Ponzanelli, Paxton Keith, Brianna Keck, Sarah Sands and Maegan Whitehead. Back row: Bailey Dwyer, Claire Trieschmann, Emily Dunn, Bailey Tauth, Natalie Brown, Kaley Ferguson, Claire Street, Caroline Cole, Grace McClanahan, Maggie Trieschmann, Hannah Joe, Meg Ballard, Hallie Green and Megan Daniel.
This is Sweetheart Chair, Kathryn Russell’s seventh year with the program and she is excited with the amount of interest and growth there has been during that time period. “We have a very special group of 26 young ladies who have made a commitment along with their families to living and learning about heart healthy lifestyles,” said Russell. “The Sweethearts have become ambassadors for heart-health and for the American Heart Association, and will serve the community as educators about heart disease this year more than ever. The skills and information that they learn during this program last them a lifetime and contribute not only to their own health, but also to the health of their families and friends.”
For more information about the Sweethearts, contact Kathryn Russell at firstname.lastname@example.org.