ORLANDO, FL, May 12, 2023 — The 2023 Orlando Heart Ball brought hearts together to save lives and strive for equitable health for everyone living in Greater Orlando. The annual black-tie gala raised critical funds and honored survivors, patrons and volunteers of the American Heart Association, a global force for healthier lives for all.

Chaired by Marshall Cress, M.D., neurosurgeon with Orlando Health Neuroscience Institute and Arnaldo Vélez, M.D., vascular neurologist with Orlando Health, the event raised more than $440,000 to fight heart disease and stroke in Central Florida.

“Strokes can happen to anyone, at any age. In fact, nearly one in four adults over the age of 25 will have a stroke in their lifetime,” said Dr. Cress. “Raising awareness and funds through the Orlando Heart Ball ensures that we can continue to address health inequities, fund lifesaving research and provide critical education and resources to our neighbors throughout Greater Orlando.”

Orlando Health served as this year’s presenting sponsor, along with HCA Healthcare Foundation and AdventHealth. During the event, the 2023 Chairman’s Circle Award was presented to our honoree, Julie Kleffel, EVP – Chief Banking Officer with Seacoast Bank for her commitment to advancing the mission of the American Heart Association.

“The 2023 Orlando Heart Ball highlighted the local progress made in the fight against cardiovascular disease and stroke,” said Heather Maloney, executive director of the American Heart Association, Greater Orlando. “Heartfelt thanks to our donors, sponsors and community leaders who attended the Heart Ball and to everyone who has supported the year-round efforts. It was inspiring to see our community come together to support a common cause: ending heart disease and stroke.”

Individuals and organizations can support longer, healthier lives and donate to the Heart of Orlando campaign at orlandoheartball.heart.org. The campaign runs through June 30, 2023.

The Heart of Orlando and the Orlando Heart Ball support the Association’s 2024 Health Equity Impact Goal, which aims to reduce barriers to health care access and quality. The American Heart Association is the world’s leading nonprofit organization focuses on heart and brain health.

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About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.  

For Media Inquiries:

Heather Maloney: Heather.Maloney@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and stroke.org