Meridian Star

January 31, 2013

Third annual Meridian Heart Ball set for Feb. 16

By Terri Ferguson Smith /
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Entertainment, an art auction and great food will mark the third annual Meridian Heart Ball set for Feb. 16 at the MSU Riley Center at 6:30 p.m.

    This year's theme harks back to a popular song of the late 1960s, "The Beat Goes On."

    The event will feature live entertainment by Charles “CC” Carter, silent and live auctions featuring Meridian artists, and local Meridian survivor Jolie Carle sharing her story.

    Christiana Williams, communications director for the American Heart Association in Jackson, said the ball is a fun way for people to help promote healthy lifestyles.

    "It’s a chance to make a difference in the lives of those impacted by our nation’s number one and number four killers," Williams said.

    Those killers are heart disease, the leading cause of death, and stroke, the fourth most common cause of death, she said.

    Tickets to the ball are $50 and money raised will go to health efforts in Mississippi by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, a division of AHA. The Meridian Heart Ball presenting sponsors are Rush Health Systems, Anderson Regional Medical Center, and CBS 24.

    AHA money in Mississippi goes toward research and education efforts, Williams said. Of particular interest to health care professionals is the role that women play in fighting heart disease. Not only are they themselves at risk, but they are also responsible for taking care of their families, she said.

    "When a mother starts making heart-healthy changes," Williams said, "Guess what? The husband and the children do too."

    That's why AHA wants to focus attention on women and their fight against heart disease.

    For more information or for tickets, go to

    Founded in 1924, the American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary health organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of heart disease and stroke. To help prevent, treat and defeat these diseases AHA funds cutting-edge research, conducts lifesaving public and professional educational programs, and advocates to protect public health. To learn more or to join in helping all Americans, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit

    Created in 1997 as a division of the American Heart Association, the American Stroke Association works to improve stroke prevention, diagnosis and treatment to save lives from stroke, a leading cause of serious disability. To do this, ASA funds scientific research, helps people better understand and avoid stroke, encourages government support, guides healthcare professionals, and provides information to stroke survivors and their caregivers to enhance their quality of life. To learn more, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit

Heart Health Statistics

    • Stroke is the number four killer of all Americans. It and heart disease, the number one killer, claim more than 870,000 lives a year.

    • Heart disease is the number one killer of women, taking the life of one in three women every year.

    • The American Heart Association is currently investing more than $1.6 million in research in Mississippi.

    • African Americans are at significant increased risk for heart disease and stroke.

Source: American Heart Association