When you combine an event I’ve never been to before with a place I haven’t been to yet, you get one excited blogger!
Which is why I was feeling so excited to be attending the American Heart Association Cleveland Heart Ball, held at the Hilton Cleveland Downtown. This gorgeous hotel with sweeping city views made for the perfect location for the black tie gala. (Also, I kind of cried sending back my Rent the Runway dress.)
The theme of this year’s Heart Ball was “Hoops and Dreams” and everywhere you looked, basketball was part of the event, from a locker room celebrating the sponsors…
…to the table decor…
…to famous basketball faces…
…to the chance to shoot some hoops yourself.
Amanda and I enjoyed the VIP room and the social suite before dinner, with nibbles, wine, and conversation.
Then it was on to a delicious seated dinner, with seasonal salad, tender beef short rib, and decadent dessert.
During dinner, we also had the chance to participate in a live auction, as well as open donation time (which raised an amazing $202,000 alone.) We were inspired to bid to help the Cleveland American Heart Association by listening to event chairman Terry Fergus talk about his grandson, Ray, who suffers from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, but is still incredibly active, hopeful, and eloquent about his future.
Ray’s story and learning how the research funded by the American Heart Association can benefit him and so many others gave an entirely new meaning to “Hoops and Dreams” and made the evening not just glamorous, but also so meaningful.
The mood lightened again at the Overtime Party put on by the Young Professionals Board, with a DJ, concession-style munchies, and more basketball fun.
It was a truly great evening for such an important cause. The Cleveland American Heart Association hopes to make heart disease a thing of the past and that is a dream definitely worth shooting for!
***Disclosure: I was asked to help promote the American Heart Association Cleveland Heart Ball. In exchange, I received two complimentary VIP tickets, as well as two tickets to the Overtime Party. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.***