American Heart Association raises $1 million at annual Heart and Stroke Ball

Ted Balistreri (right), owner of Sendik's Food Markets, presents a $75,000 donation raised by the “Round-up at the register” campaign earlier this year.

Milwaukee American Heart Association raised $1 million at its 45th annual Heart and Stroke Ball.

The event drew 450 people to the Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee. By the end of the evening, the organization had already raised a record total, but a donation by the Windhover Foundation brought the dollar figure to $1 million.

Another key donation was $75,000 raised by Milwaukee-based Sendik’s Food Market as part of its stores’ “Round-up at the register” campaign during February, March and April.

“The power of community impact was demonstrated Saturday evening through the generosity of individuals and corporations aligned to support our community. The dollars we raised will go a long way to fund cardiovascular medical research, educate consumers on healthy living, and foster appropriate cardiac care in southeast Wisconsin,” said Bernie Sherry, event chair and CEO and ministry market executive at Ascension Wisconsin.

The event included a silent auction, live auction and the story of Lily Lachman, a 13-year-old Kenosha girl whose life was saved by a heart transplant seven years ago after she was diagnosed with congenital heart disease, according to a news release.

“We’re so appreciative of all the support from everyone who attended, to all of our sponsors, and to Bernie and Ascension for their leadership throughout our planning for this year’s Heart Ball,” said Katie Connolly, executive director of Milwaukee American Association. “The generous outpouring of support will clearly help us continue our mission of ridding our citizens of heart disease and stroke. It was truly a special night.”

In the past five years, the AHA has funded 81 total studies for more than $13 million in Wisconsin, including 33 at the Medical College of Wisconsin, 42 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, four at Marquette University and two at Versiti in Milwaukee.

Maredithe Meyer covers restaurants, retail, tourism, and sports and entertainment. She joined BizTimes in 2015, previously as an intern reporter. She earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University in 2017. When she's not on the job, Maredithe coaches field hockey and loves exploring her favorite city on earth, Milwaukee.

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