Dear Soirée readers:
The American Heart Association Sweethearts are high school sophomores who (from mid-August to February’s Heart Ball) learn about heart health and stroke. They participate in education activities and volunteer at local hospitals. Through the Sweetheart program, these young ladies learn that heart disease is the leading cause of death and the number one killer of women.
During their tenure as Sweethearts, these young ladies focus on the mission of the American Heart Association. They learn about cardiovascular disease and stroke and the importance of a healthy lifestyle by attending tours and volunteering at the following hospitals: Baptist Health (2013 Heart Ball presenting sponsor), Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Arkansas Heart Hospital, St. Vincent Health and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. The Sweethearts also learn the lifesaving skill of Hands-Only CPR, as it more than doubles a person’s chance of survival.
The Sweetheart program is a fundraiser for the American Heart Association’s Central Arkansas Heart Ball, and Sweethearts pay an individual patronage fee. While Sweethearts, they also serve a minimum of 15 community service/education hours centered on learning more about becoming advocates for heart health in their generation. Sweethearts have the opportunity to volunteer for more than 100 hours at local hospitals, and those who volunteer their time are eligible for awards within the program. One of those awards is the Allison Justiss Sweetheart Scholarship, which is awarded annually.
Sweethearts are invited during the spring before their Sophomore year and selected on a first-come, first-serve basis. Young ladies interested in becoming participants in the Sweetheart program should contact the American Heart Association at (501) 375-9148.
With pleasure, we present the 2013 Sweetheart Class. Congratulations to all 58 young women for their outstanding efforts in supporting awareness of heart disease — the number one killer of women.
Valerie Kellam and Paula Parke
Heart Ball Director