Mid-Missouri Heart Ball returns Feb. 10

News Tribune file photo: 
Jeff Sanders receives a standing ovation after speaking about his father during the 2023 Heart Ball at Capitol Plaza Hotel.
News Tribune file photo: Jeff Sanders receives a standing ovation after speaking about his father during the 2023 Heart Ball at Capitol Plaza Hotel.

The 33rd Annual Mid-Missouri Heart Ball will be held Feb. 10 at Capital Plaza Hotel.

The evening will kick off at 6 p.m. with a cocktail social hour and silent auction. That will be followed by dinner, a program recognizing the sponsors and a talk about the work that the American Heart Association is doing before sharing a story of a local person who has been impacted by heart disease.

A live auction will be held following the story before the evening wraps up with dancing and live music by The Vincents.

Melissa Gerke, American Heart Association development director for Jefferson City and Columbia, said this year's event is extra special because it's the 100th anniversary of the American Heart Association.

"So this is kind of our big centennial celebration in Mid-Missouri where we're going to be talking about the work of the AHA over the past 100 years, the progress and impact that's been made through the generous support of our donors and our volunteers that have been beside us all these years, so that's our big focus," Gerke said.

This year, there will also be a ball drive to collect baseballs, footballs or any other type of ball that will be donated to local schools and organizations, the idea being to encourage children to get moving and have fun, which will eventually help impact their cardiac health.

Rusty Drewing is the sponsor of the "Bring a Ball to the Ball" drive. There will be a collection at the event, but for those wanting to donate who are unable to make it to the event, they can also drop off their donation in the weeks leading up to the event at the Rusty Drewing Dealerships, as well as the BMW dealership in Columbia.

"This is our largest fundraising event in Mid-Missouri, it has a long history and a long tradition, and we're always excited to bring the community together to celebrate the work that we've all done together, and to celebrate our volunteers and our sponsors," Gerke said.

Tickets are still available on heart.org/jeffersoncityheartball.

  photo  News Tribune file photo: Kristin Mebruer talks with her daughter, Emma Mebruer, 6, as she draws during the 2022 Heart Ball at Capitol Plaza Hotel. Emma was the Heart Star of the ball.