Orioles to serve as event for American Heart Association’s 30th annual Baltimore Heart Ball

The Orioles today announced a partnership with the American Heart Association (AHA) that features the club serving as event chair for the 30th Annual Baltimore Heart Ball, scheduled for February 1, 2014. The Orioles are the first professional sports team to lead such an effort since the AHA’s founding in 1924.

The Orioles and the AHA have set what would be a record-setting $810,000 fundraising goal for the Baltimore Heart Ball. Proceeds from the event benefit breakthroughs in cardiovascular disease research, education programs and advocacy efforts. A considerable portion of the funds are also directed to local institutions such as Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland.

Additionally, the Orioles and the AHA have planned a number of exciting events over the coming months for Baltimore City children, ages 5-14, to educate the next generation about the importance of good nutrition and daily exercise. One such initiative, the AHA Recess after-school program, targets children in communities that have lack of access to affordable fresh fruits and vegetables and green space to play.

“The Orioles’ and the Angelos family’s commitment is incredibly exciting for the AHA and for Baltimore. The team members are amazing athletes who practice our core mission and values of maintaining a proper diet and exercise, which makes them a perfect partner,” said Angela Wheeler, the AHA’s senior director, Heart Ball Events.

“We were honored to support the Heart Ball last year, and this year we wanted to take more of a leadership role to meet the mission of the AHA, a cause that is important to our players, our organization, and the community at large,” said Orioles ownership representative Louis Angelos. “We believe that with the additional support from the entire Orioles family, we can add even more excitement to the campaign and help save more lives.”

The Heart Ball is an elegant black-tie celebration of life that attracts more than 500 of Baltimore’s most prominent physicians, corporate, health care, philanthropy and community leaders to salute the AHA’s impact on the Greater Maryland Community. The event gathers like-minded individuals who care about the prevention and treatment of heart diseases and stroke.

The event features a cocktail hour, gourmet seated dinner, dessert, dancing, live and silent auctions, free valet parking, a special individual giving appeal and the presentation of the Watkins-Saunders Award. Named after Dr. Levi Watkins and Dr. Elijah Saunders, this esteemed award is presented to an individual who exemplifies excellence in diminishing healthcare disparities.

The two organizations are also partnering on a ticket offer available exclusively at www.orioles.com/AHA that will allow fans to contribute to the cause as well as planning events to educate Baltimore City children on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle. Beginning today, fans can visit www.orioles.com/AHA to take advantage of an exclusive 50% off ticket discount for all tickets for each game between now and September 8 simply by donating $10 to the American Heart Association for each ticket purchased. The webpage also contains additional details of the Orioles/AHA partnership, a calendar of AHA events and heart-healthy tips for fans.

According to Dr. Watkins, due to the lack of quality care, nearly 120,000 individuals die annually from heart disease, even in the presence of one’s ability to pay for healthcare services. To diminish healthcare disparities means to diminish inequities in access to and the distribution of quality care to all Americans for the treatment and prevention of heart disease, one of the AHA’s primary goals.

The 30th Annual Baltimore Heart Ball will take place on Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel, located at 700 Aliceanna Street. For more information about the Baltimore Heart Ball or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Angela Wheeler, senior director, Heart Ball Events, at 443-690-7795 or angela.wheeler@heart.org.

The American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association are devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke - America’s No. 1 and No. 4 leading causes of death. The AHA partners with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. The American Stroke Association is a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country.