ST. CLAIRSVILLE - "The Beat is Back" this month and is the theme for the Ohio Valley Division's 45th Annual American Heart Association Heart Ball. On Saturday, Feb. 23 at the Belmont Hills Country Club cocktails (cash bar) and hors d'oeuvres will begin at 6:30 p.m. followed by an evening of music and dancing and both silent and live auctions. There will also be special presentations, and the band "Redline," recently voted Cleveland's top event band, will perform from 9 p.m. until midnight.
The event is the largest fundraiser of the year for the Ohio Valley Division of the AHA. Auction items will include a "girls' getaway" package and two football helmets, one from The Ohio State University signed by Coach Urban Meyer and one from West Virginia University signed by receiver Stedman Bailey. All proceeds will benefit cardiovascular research, community programs and health education in the Ohio Valley. John and Melissa Rataiczak are co-chairs for this year's ball.
"The Heart Ball continues to be a success every year because of the passion of its volunteers. The committee is dedicated to saving lives and they work very hard to educate the community and advance medical research efforts," said John Rataiczak.
Join “The Beat is Back” committee for a festive evening on Feb. 23. Members pictures, front, left to right, Melissa Rataiczak, Theresa Feisley, Cindy Becker, Jennie DeMatte and back, left to right, Ron Presutti, Helene Moncman, Valerie Grimes, Mike Green, Shawn Core, Nancy Green, Marge Koren, John Rataiczak, Cindy Lash and Maren Presutti.
According to AHA statistics in 2009, heart disease was the number one cause of death in both Ohio and West Virginia, and stroke was fourth in causes of death. In the United States, West Virginia ranks seventh and Ohio fifteenth in death rates from cardiovascular disease. Both states have higher than U.S. average statistics for smoking, obesity and heart attacks and lower than average statistics for physical activity. Cardiovascular disease is the most costly illness in the United States every year, totaling $300 billion.
Efforts like "The Beat is Back" help further the Heart Association's mission of building lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Sponsors for this year's ball include Capstone Holdings Company, Harvey Goodman Realty, Source Fitness, Kalkreuth Roofing & Sheet Metal, Dr. Joseph Gabis, Strauss Industries, Wilson Funeral Home, Consol Energy, A & B Kia, WesBanco, Ohio River Collieries and Boswell Rock of Ages. Those interested in a sponsorship should contact Debbie Viola of the AHA at (412) 208-3568.
Rataiczak notes that DeFelice Pizza will be launching their heart-shaped pizza promotion again this year and donating $1 per sale of heart-shaped pizzas from Feb. 12 to 14 to the Heart Association.
Tickets to the heart ball are available for $150 per couple and $75 for single tickets. A premiere couple's package with extras is available for $250. Call Debbie Viola, (412) 208-3568 to purchase tickets or for more information.