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Celebrity Philanthropy News
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Black Tie International: Celebrity Philanthropy News-
Miss America Katie Stam


Anushka and Miss America Katie Stam.  Photos by Lucien Capehart Photography

Anushka and Miss America Katie Stam.  
Photos by Lucien Capehart Photography

Elegance and Romance Filled the Air at

54th Annual Palm Beach Heart Ball




PALM BEACH, Fla.- February 23, 2009-  Filled with picturesque romance and enchantment in true Valentine’s Day fashion, the 54th Annual Palm Beach Heart Ball, entitled “Hearts & Roses” drew over 300 guests to The Breakers on Saturday, February 14, to raise funds for the lifesaving work of the American Heart Association.  The Palm Beach Heart Ball once again proved its distinguished reputation and prestige as one of the most-anticipated events of the social season as well as the oldest, most established Heart Ball in the nation and longest continuous charity event in Palm Beach!  The following well-heeled supporters were awash in red and seen at the Ball in all their lovely splendor:  Patrick Park and Nathalie Fernandez de La Valle, Robert and Sue Tomsich, Lois Pope, Gail Worth and Mel Freidland, Suzi Goldsmith, Petra Levin, Daniel Dresbach, Alexis and Veronica Mersentes, Patty Myura, Linda and Ed Dweck, Miss America 2009 Katie Stam,  Ruth and Ray Perleman, Ave Coleman, Brownie Mclean and Michael Minello, Denise Alexander, Nancy & Walter Raquet, Monika & John Preston, Anushka Blau,  Kathryn and Leo Vecellio, Baroness Gabriella Von Langendorf and Sheik Abdula Thuraya, Helen Boehm, Barbara Katz and Jim Kinnear to name a few.


Co-Chairmen of the 54th annual gala Arlette B. Gordon and Elizabeth M. Bowden graciously embraced the opportunity to give from the “heart” to the “heart” for this Valentine’s Day event.  Their support of the American Heart Association and vision was instrumental to the success of the 2009 Palm Beach Heart Ball raising nearly 1 million dollars, including a special night-of gift 30,000 dollar pledge by Larry De George in honor of his parents 09 Lifetime Achievement Award. 


“We are thrilled with the outpouring support offered to us by our committee and Heart Ball attendees this year that truly made our chairmanship a lifelong memory and tribute to the American Heart Association.”  


The American Heart Association was delighted to welcome newly crowned Miss America 2009 Katie Stam as the evening’s Guest of Honor in her first charitable appearance since her January 24 crowning.  Stam, age 22, of Seymour, IN., welcomed guests and made the formal introduction of Gordon and Bowden as both ladies made their way up to the podium to be recognized for their Chairmanship. Her triumphant walk across the stage the evening she won her title and her appearance at the Palm Beach Heart Ball mark just the beginning of a journey that will take Stam to every corner of the country during her year of service as Miss America 2009, totaling 20,000 miles each month.


The American Heart Association, its Greater Southeast Affiliate, Palm Beach Heart Ball Advisory Board and the 2009 Heart Ball Committee were honored to present Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence J. De George with the prestigious Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award at the Heart Ball.  Their dedication and continued support of the lifesaving work of American Heart Association over the last 15 years has truly been an inspiration to others. 


Honorary Chairmen for the 54th Annual Palm Beach Heart Ball were Kathryn C. Vecellio, Patrick M. Park & Nathalie Fernandez De LaValle, and Lawrence J. & Florence A. De George. 


As the American Heart Association, through the generosity of its volunteers, is “building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke,” the Palm Beach Heart Ball continues to hold a place in the national spotlight as the oldest Heart Ball in the country and the longest continuous charity event in Palm Beach.  The event has established itself as a leading force in advancing the key initiatives of the American Heart Association aimed at significantly combating heart disease and stroke, the No.1 and No. 3 leading health offenders of both American men and women.


The Palm Beach Heart Ball Advisory Board included: Pamela Dupuis, Norma Fireman, Arlette B. Gordon, Mrs. Curt E. Gowdy, Judith Grubman, BJ Kemp, Sydell Miller, Sharon O’Neill, Sally Robinson, Diann Scaravilli, Alice Tarone, Joyce Vaughn and Kathryn C. Vecellio. 


The Palm Beach Heart Ball committee was made up of the following individuals:  Corinne Barr, Trudy Brekus, Cindy Cerone, Mercedes Cassidy, Etonella Christlieb, Audrey Colflesh, Lori Corrigan, Angela DeFina, Pamela DeFina, Linda Dunmire, Elaine Edwards, Henry Fong, Barbara Gilbert, Robert G. Gordon, Carole Hepburn, Cynthia Kasper, BJ Kemp, Nanette Kiefer, Jessica Marulli, Marietta McNulty,  Paula Michel, Masako O’Brien, Beth Pine, Susan Reymond,  Irene Casey Ritzenthaler, Lore Smith, Alice Tarone, Mary Frances Turner and Joyce Vaughn,  and Kathryn C. Vecellio.


Sponsors in support of the 54th Annual Palm Beach Heart Ball included: Mr. and Mrs. David Chase, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Devos, Mr. and Mrs. Leo A. Vecellio, Jr. Mr. Robert N. Wildrick, Mrs. Elizabeth M. Bowden, Mr. and Mrs. Luis Dorelle, Mr. and Mrs. Robert G. Gordon, Ambassador and Mrs. Henry L. Kimelman, Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Tomsich , Ms. Joan Wegner, Braman Motorcars, St. John Boutique, Mrs. Harold Bernstein, Mr. and Mrs. Simon C. Fireman, Mrs. Miles Fiterman, Mr. Henry Fong, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Gurwin, Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Karp, Mr. and Mrs. Howard J. Kessler, Mr. James Mahoney, Mrs. Sydell L. Miller, Mrs. Herme De Wyman Miro, The Fortin Foundation Of Florida, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Richter, Mr. and Mrs. Carl J. Shapiro , Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Spero and Mr. Thomas Quick.


For further information about the American Heart Association or the Palm Beach Heart Ball, call Stacey A. Dowdle, Vice President, Palm Beach at 561-697-6614.


Arlette Gordon and Elizabeth Bowden


Daniel Dresbach and Petra Levin

Nathalie Fernandez De Lavalle and Patrick Park


Florence De Geeorge and Larry De George


About the American Heart Association

Founded in 1924, the American Heart Association today is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of heart disease and stroke.  These diseases, America’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers, and all other cardiovascular diseases claim nearly 870,000 lives a year.  In fiscal year 2006–07 the association invested more than $554 million in research, professional and public education, advocacy and community service programs to help all Americans live longer, healthier lives.

To learn more, call  1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit:


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