Adopting a new format this year, the eighth annual HeartFest fundraiser for the Henry Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease became an even larger forum for heart-healthy living.
More than 1,100 guests were ushered around the Hyatt Regency on Jan. 10 to sample heart-healthy food products before entering the cocktail party area of the event, which culminated with dinner prepared by 22 area restaurants and dancing to the tunes of a seven-piece band.
The event gave vendors an opportunity to offer samplings of more than 100 low-fat foods that may be bought in stores, and restaurants the ability to show off dishes prepared with the health-conscious in mind.
The concept came from event planners Twelve Chairs and Table, said committee member Ed Speno. Organizers then approached John Stokely, CEO of Richfood Holdings, and John Ryder, of Metro Food Markets, and "they made it happen," Speno said. The change was largely responsible for the huge increase in proceeds. The event raised $200,000 to be used for research, grants and fellowships at the center; last year, about $50,000 was raised.
Researchers at the center explore risk factors for coronary heart disease and methods of managing and decreasing those risks. The education of doctors, health counselors and patients is also a priority.
The center is named for Henry Ciccarone, whose association with the Hopkins Athletic Department lasted more than 20 years; before a successful stint as a coach in the mid-70s and 80s, he was three-time All-American midfielder. In 1987, he was named to the Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
"His drive and dedication is something that many of us took
into our careers," Ciccarone Center director and Hopkins alum
Roger Blumenthal has said of Ciccarone. "I think a lot of what we
learned in college prepared us for what we learned later on."