Heart Ball to fete sportscaster Tom Hammond, pay tribute to the late Carol Barr


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – More than 500 medical and corporate professionals and special guests will celebrate the mission of the American Heart Association (AHA) at the 33rd Annual Central Kentucky Heart Ball, presented by White, Greer & Maggard Orthodontics, on Thursday, June 10.

The virtual event will celebrate the AHA’s lifesaving mission, the donors and volunteers and most importantly, the lives saved and improved because of the Association’s efforts.

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The event will honor Lexington native and NBC sportscaster, Tom Hammond, as well as local heart disease survivor, Matthew Varga, and feature a performance by Dr. Everett McCorvey, Director of Opera at the University of Kentucky College of Fine Arts, and his wife, Soprano, Alicia Helm McCorvery, as well as a performance from actress and singer, Laura Bell Bundy.

The event will also pay tribute to Carol Barr, who passed away last June due to complications of a heart condition called mitral valve prolapse.

To honor Carol’s legacy as a volunteer with Go Red for Women, the American Heart Association worked with Carol’s husband, U.S. Congressman Andy Barr, as well as Carol’s friends and family to create the Carol Barr Fund. The Fund will support research as well as STEM programming for young women in Eastern Kentucky.

Carol and Jack Russell will co-chair the event. Jack is the founding partner and CEO of Russell Capital Management.

“This past June we lost our precious baby grandson, Woodson, due to complications of a congenital heart defect. We also lost our dear friend and neighbor, Carol Barr, to heart disease. They are why Jack and I chose to chair the Central Kentucky Heart Ball and support the life-saving work of the American Heart Association,” Carol Russell, 2021 Central Kentucky Heart Ball Co-Chair.

The event will also feature both live and silent auctions, the latter of which the public can bid on at event.gives/centralkyheartball/items.

Silent auction items include tickets to the 2022 Breeders’ Cup, Derby tickets including breakfast with Bobby Flay, vacation packages, including Kiawah Island, Isle of Palms, Montage at Palmetto Bluff, Miami and Cabo, and rare bourbons, including bottles of Pappy Van Winkle.

Heart disease is the #1 cause of death in Kentucky, resulting in over 10,000 deaths per year. In the last five years, the American Heart Association has provided over $7.5 million for heart disease and stroke research in Kentucky. More than $6 million funded research right here at the University of Kentucky.

Proceeds from the Central Kentucky Heart Ball support the American Heart Association’s research, education and advocacy efforts. Research funded by the association has yielded important discoveries such as CPR, life-extending drugs, pacemakers, bypass surgery, surgical techniques to repair heart defects and more.

Advocacy efforts have also resulted in the passage of the CPR in Schools graduation requirement and the stroke systems of care bill statewide. Last year, the Central Kentucky Heart Ball raised more than $400,000, which allowed the Association to fund research and educational programs throughout Central and Eastern Kentucky.

As part of the Central Kentucky Heart Ball, the Central Kentucky American Heart Association is teaming up with Kentucky Children’s Hospital and Cincinnati Children’s through their Joint Heart Program, to encourage increased physical activity with children in Eastern Kentucky. They are asking people to “Bring a Ball to the Ball”, and donate athletic balls to be distributed through organizations affiliated with Shaping Our Appalachian Region.

People can drop athletic balls off at the AHA’s Lexington office at 354 Waller Ave. #110, M-F, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. June 7-18.

The athletic equipment will be used in classrooms throughout southern and eastern Kentucky this school year in the 54 counties supported by SOAR.

Last year, the organization was able to present over 100 sports balls to Operation UNITE (Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment and Education) during their 13th annual Camp UNITE event–a weeklong leadership/adventure program for middle schoolers.

For tickets or to donate, call (859) 317-6874 or visit event.gives/centralkyheartball.

The Central Kentucky Heart Ball is presented by White, Greer & Maggard Orthodontics with support from Russell Capital Management, Baptist Health, UK HealthCare, CHI Saint Joseph Health, Keeneland, UK HealthCare Kentucky Children’s Hospital, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Tower Hill Insurance, Setzer Properties, Georgetown Community Hospital, Lexington Heart Specialists, Commonwealth Credit Union, Denton’s Bingham Greenbaum, Central Bank, Alltech and Ball Homes.