Having a Heart Ball for 50 Years

Heart Ball committee members, from left, Rachel and Jay Goodman and John and Melissa Rataiczak are hoping residents from both sides of the Ohio River will join them in celebrating the 50th year of the Heart Ball, which benefits the American Heart Association.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — A celebration of 50 years of fashion and culture awaits patrons at the Heart Ball organized by the Ohio Valley division of the American Heart Association. The ball is set for Feb. 24 at Belmont Hills Country Club, with a variety of music, food, beverages, dancing and fun for all attending.

Proceeds benefit the American Heart Association, which is dedicated to building healthier lives free of cardiovascular diseases and strokes.

The Heart Ball is the local association’s largest fundraiser of the year in this region, which includes the Ohio Valley on both sides of the river.

“The passion of our volunteers drives the success of the Heart Ball, the 50th being no exception” said John Rataiczak who, along with his wife Melissa, co-chair the event. “Not only is the Heart Ball an extraordinarily fun event, but the money raised each year goes directly to support the Heart Association’s mission. Many local businesses are central in the Heart Ball’s success, and the committee would especially like to thank Murray Energy for once again being the signature sponsor.”

“Our committee is excited to celebrate the history of the American Heart Association’s accomplishments,” said Ryan Jerico, AHA division director. “The AHA has launched a 2020 Impact Goal to reduce death from heart disease and stroke by at least 20 percent by the year 2020 and to improve overall heart health by 20 percent.” As the nation’s No. 1 killer, heart disease has touched everyone in some way, he said. “Imagine the impact that we can make through the 2020 goal.”

The festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and string quartet entertainment. Special presentations are scheduled for 8:30 followed by the sounds of the K Street Band from 9 p.m. to midnight. The eight-piece band will play dance hits from past and present, lighting up the dance floor with their musical energy.

The classic disco song “Staying Alive” is a song especially dear to all heart savers and survivors. The AHA recommends that anyone witnessing a cardiac arrest can dramatically increase the chance of survival by first calling 911, and then pushing hard and fast in the center of the victim’s chest to the beat of the classic song by the Bee Gees, “Staying Alive.” The song has the right beat for timing the rhythm of hands-only CPR.

Tickets are tax-deductible and may be purchased by calling Jerico, 412-208-3649.