Wednesday, October 16, 2013
It is both an honor and a privilege to serve as chairperson of the 2014 “Open Your Heart” fund raising campaign, sponsored by the Erie division of the American Heart Association. However, this title comes with the enormous responsibility of reaching out to the community for donations and support for this lifesaving organization.
Thanks to generous donations from ordinary and extraordinary people, community members, volunteers, medical professionals and corporate leaders, the American Heart Association is able to continue its mission to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
Heart disease is very personal to me. Both of my parents survived open heart surgery. And, while I have been blessed with four healthy boys and eight beautiful grandchildren, the statistics on childhood heart disease are staggering.
- Did you know that in the U.S., twice as many children die from congenital heart disease (CHD) each year than from all forms of childhood cancer combined yet funding for pediatric cancer research is five times higher than funding for CHD?
- In Erie County, more than 500 students were diagnosed with cardiovascular conditions.
As a leader and an entrepreneur in the Erie area, I have always been compelled to give back to the community. Over the years, my family and colleagues have raised thousands of dollars for area non-profits. It is my goal to reach or surpass $60,000 in donations during this year’s “Open Your Heart” campaign. I hope I can count on all of you who have been contributors in the past to join me in this momentous fundraising effort. All monies raised during this annual appeal will be designated solely for research in the fight against congenital birth defects, education and advocacy in our battle against childhood obesity. Seventy-five percent of all local donations will remain within the Erie community.
The campaign will culminate with Heart Ball 2014, “Some Enchanted Evening”, on Saturday, February 22 at the Ambassador Banquet Center. The grand gala will feature entertainment, a live and silent auction and a sit down dinner. One of the evening highlights will be “the mission moment” where the audience will be introduced to Gianna, a six year old Erie girl with a compelling story on the ravages of childhood heart disease.
Please give generously by returning the enclosed form with self-addressed stamped envelope or by submitting your donation online at www.heart.org/eriepaheartball. For more information please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Gina or Jody at the American Heart Association Office at 814.836.0013.
Marsha Marsh Real Estate Services
2014 Open Your Heart Chairperson