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24th Annual Wichita Heart Ball

Posted on February 25, 2018 by under Events.    

Brian and I have been going to the Wichita Heart Ball for a few years now. Thanks to work for the tickets and probably, more specifically, Mr. Don Sherman. He is Mr. Wichita. The event has become our favorite fundraising event to attend. You can see pictures of past Heart Ball events here.

Kansas Big Brothers Big Sisters’ Brew Ha-Ha event used to be our most favorite but they didn’t have one last year. It was something that Brian and I looked forward to every year. I’m not sure if the event will be back this year, though. The Wichita Heart Ball, however, happens every year so I guess it’s our new favorite. LOL.

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Here’s a quick selfie I took while I was waiting for Brian to be ready. He took care of the dogs first while I was getting ready and then after feeding the dogs and letting them potty he got ready himself. That way he didn’t mess up his tux.

I had to do my own hair and makeup this year because I had another event earlier that afternoon and couldn’t get into to Beau Monde late. I guess I could have hit up Emma at Planet Hair but I didn’t think I had time to shower, driver all the way downtown to get hair and makeup done, and then drive all the way back home to change into my outfit. I opted to save the drive time and just do it all myself. I did allow for lots of extra prep time, though. We left the Zumbathon early.

I wanted to wear an updo this year since I always wear my hair down but couldn’t quite get it together. I ended up just curling my hair. It turned out well because it actually kind of went with the style of my dress which had somewhat of a vintage-looking lace on the top portion.

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Here’s a picture of me and my friend Jessica, who I met through Leadership Wichita. That is such a great program. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to go through it. I met so many great people who I am still in touch with today, Jessica being one of them.

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Here’s a selfie with some friends of ours from bowling, Alan Howarter and Margo Nunn. They’re not in our Sunday night bowling league anymore but we still see them from time to time. I don’t think Alan has ever missed a Heart Ball.

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Here’s a picture of me with Sara. Her dress looks black but it’s actually a dark navy blue. Crystal also wore a navy blue dress. We thought it was wild that all three of us ended up wearing navy blue dresses without even talking to each other or planning it. The Sweethearts wore blue dresses this year also.

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Here’s a picture of me with Isaac’s gorgeous wife Crystal, in our matching navy blue dresses. I thought I got a good deal on my dress (less than $50 from Von Maur) but then she told me she got hers for $14 from Dillard’s.

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Here’s a picture of Brian with Sara’s husband Shane, who I work with. You can’t tell it from this photo but Brian’s bowtie is actually a dark navy blue also. We got it for him this year to match my dress.

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Here’s a picture of me and Brian with Jessica. This was taken in the silent auction area. The silent auction really confused me last year because they went digital and so all the bidding was online. We usually end up buying a ton of stuff from the silent auction but didn’t end up with anything last year. This year it made more sense to me and I actually won a basket, which was under $200. I’m thinking maybe they should change it again because I actually end up saving money when I’m confused. Then I don’t end up bidding on things I don’t really need. LOL. Just kidding. It’s all for a good cause.

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Work only purchased six tickets again this year so we didn’t have our company name at our table, just a table number. Last year we shared our table with two couples from Splurge. This year we didn’t really know who we would be sharing the table with. The couples arrived late and left early.

Sara was sitting closest to them so she got to visit with them a bit over dinner. She said as they couples were leaving, she thought she heard the woman say, “We’re leaving for some sex and better food.” Definitely the quote of the evening if Sara heard her correctly. I’m not sure it helped that Isaac ate one of their desserts.

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Speaking of food, he’s a picture of the salad.

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They served surf and turf this year, a prawn atop a small filet. Other than the fact that it was cold, I actually liked it. The food had good flavor. The presentation wasn’t as nice as entrees in year’s past, though. I really like shrimp and Brian doesn’t so he gave me his shrimp, which worked great for me because they don’t really give us huge portions. Thankfully there are snacks at the after party for people who are still hungry.

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Here’s a group photo we took after dinner. The free photos were already over so we ended up just taking our own group photo. LOL.

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Here’s a picture of me and Brian with DJ Carbon (aka James) before the after party.

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Another one while I was waiting for Brian to come back from putting our silent auction purchase out in our car. I got the “Beauty and Bling” package which included a hair dryer and curling iron set (like I said, stuff I don’t really need) was quite heavy so we didn’t want to have to lug it everywhere we went. Plus, we also wanted to do some dancing at the after party.

Speaking of the after party, they switched it up this year. Instead of having The Source, they had DJ Carbon and Rudy Love. I thought it was a good change. They’re modernizing the event a bit to attract millennials.

Sara, Shane, Isaac, and Crystal all skipped the after party. Brian and I usually only stay long enough to pay for our silent auction winnings and then leave too. However, we decided to stick around for a bit this year to support our friend James (aka DJ Carbon). I also wanted to see how they changed things.

One of the biggest changes was the after party location. They actually shut down AVI and held the after party there. In the past it was in the hotel lobby area where the have the silent auction baskets. They quickly clear that area out while the program is happening and then the band sets up so that, when the program ends and people start heading out there, the band is ready to go.

This year DJ Carbon and Rudy Love set up in AVI while we were in the program. We had the entire restaurant so it felt like we had a lot more space. I think they’re moving toward turning the after party into its own big event because they actually sold tickets for it this year.

After party tickets were $100 each but if you had a ticket to the Heart Ball (I think about $300 each) then you automatically got into the after party. Naturally, I was curious what you got for $100 besides superb entertainment by our friend James.

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No chocolate fountain this year, which was a bit disappointing, but they did provide heavy duty after hours munchies such as chips and queso and tacos and assorted sweets. Like I said earlier, if you were still hungry, there was more food to be had.

The chocolate fountain was kind of a big change since I think they’ve had one almost every year. Last year they had a champagne fountain in addition to the chocolate fountain, which was a nice touch. That looked like a lot of work, though, so I can understand why they ditched it this year. I can live without the champagne fountain but I would like to see the chocolate fountain come back.

Oh, and if they serve queso at the after party again next year, they should really make it a queso fountain! LOL.

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Here are some pictures of the after party entertainment, which is a huge departure from the after party entertainment of previous years.

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It was another great event over all. I was mostly joking about the chocolate fountain bit. I liked the changes for the most part. I hope they keep this same format. Now, knowing what to expect, I’ll probably take an afternoon nap to make sure I have energy to stick around for the after party instead of bailing super early.

I hope we get some tickets again next year!

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Pictures from the 23rd Annual Heart Ball

Posted on February 26, 2017 by under Life.    

Here are pictures from the Heart Ball, an event that we attended a couple of weeks ago. I know grandma has been patiently waiting to see these. This event happened on the same day as the Stupid Cupid 2 Mile Run. It was quite a Saturday!

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I always have to take pictures of table place settings because they always do it up so fancy! I guess we shouldn’t expect anything less from a black-tie optional event.

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This is probably the fanciest event we attend all year. This year they upped the ante with a champagne pyramid right as you walked in the door.

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They also had a champagne fountain which was a lot of fun. It made me want to drink my champagne quickly so I could keep refilling my glass. I had a photo of champagne fountain but I can’t find it now. I guess you’ll just have to settle for one of me with the champagne pyramid.

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This is the first of many selfies we took that evening.

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This is one of us with the Batchelders. We found out that night that mom’s boss is Sara’s mom. What a small world!

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Another selfie…

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The funniest part about this photo is our conversation. Brian goes, “I think the bartender likes me. She keeps giving me free drinks.” I was like, “I thought all the drinks were free?” LOL. This event is open bar. (Another reason why this is one of our faves. Not that we drink a lot.)

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This selfie is remarkable in that the tablecloth looks blue in it. It’s actually black. It reminds me of the blue dress that everyone thought was white.

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Here are a few more selfies, just ’cause…

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Actually, now that I have seen the tablecloth as blue, I see it as blue in every picture. It’s so weird how our eyes play these tricks on us.

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We had to get a picture with Alan, one of the guys from bowling. We’ve seen him at a few of these events and, I guess, he has been attending the Heart Ball since the beginning of time. All of his daughters were Sweethearts – meaning they all completed the American Heart Association‘s Sweetheart program.

It’s kind of a big deal. You have to submit an application, agree and sign the Sweetheart Code and Mission Statement, provide two letters of recommendations from non-relatives, pay a huge sum of money (or apply for a scholarship), AND be selected. Anyway, the Sweethearts are required to complete community service and other activities geared toward furthering the AHA’s cause of public health education and providing CPR training.

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Here are some pictures of the food we enjoyed that evening.

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The desserts are always the same, or they have been the last few years.

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A rich chocolate cake and creme brûlée…

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Since I ate all of my dessert and then some, I stayed away from the chocolate fountain which they always have at the after party.

The after party is so fun but I’m usually either too tired, too sleepy, or my feet are already killing me by the end of the evening to completely enjoy it. Brian is usually good for a couple of dances but that’s it. In the past Brian and I have only stayed long enough to claim our silent auction items. I think if we were younger then we would probably stay until the very end. We’re just too old. LOL.

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Anyway, I’m glad we stayed a little bit longer this time because it wasn’t until late (almost until we were ready to leave) that we ran into Zoe and her husband.

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As always, it was a lot of fun. We even ran into our friend Mike (from Splurge) who we got to know just from running into him so many times throughout the year at events like this one. The first year, I swear, he probably thought we were stalking him. LOL. Speaking of events, this may be the last time we are attending this one. Work didn’t get a full table this year so I can sense that we are starting to cut back on event sponsorships. We only had six tickets. So it was Shane and Sara Batchelder, Isaac and Crystal Perez, us and two other couples at our table.

I’m crossing my fingers for next year’s event but not holding my breath. Although, Brian and I have talked about splurging and attending the event on our own dime even if my work doesn’t give us any tickets. The ticket price is pretty steep, though. I think it was $250 per person this year. The only downside of paying for our own tickets is that we will probably have to sit at a table with people we don’t know, which isn’t really that big of a deal because I’ve never met a stranger, but still. We shall wait and see. Until next year.

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22nd Annual Wichita Heart Ball

Posted on February 21, 2016 by under Events.    

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Brian and I had a great time at the Heart Ball last night.

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One of these days we’ll get use to the lavish opulence of this event.

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This is our third year attending and it just keeps getting better and better.

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I loved this year’s event lighting. They had these charming chandeliers all over the place. It all looked so luxe and extravagant.

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This isn’t a very flattering photo but I have to share it with you so you can see the very fancy chandelier behind us.

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Here’s another selfie early in the evening. One that looks somewhat normal.

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We had trouble filling our table because of the late notice. I actually didn’t know we had a table until the week of the event. That’s why mom and dad got to go this year. By Wednesday Brian and I were the only ones confirmed, so I asked Lacie if mom and dad could come so that Brian and I wouldn’t be by ourselves at our table.

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Speaking of our table, Moore Flowers did a great job on the table centerpieces. I loved the one they had at our table. If I were to have an event, I would totally hire them. The place looked great and the decor went really well with the theme.

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Isaac and Crystal attended again this year. I’m glad Crystal convinced Isaac to attend. That brought our count to six people.

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Misty and Amy and James and his wife attended as well so we actually managed to fill the table. Impressive on such short notice.

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Dinner was pretty good. We enjoyed the salad and the main course (pictured above). They had two dessert options this year even though only the vanilla bean creme brûlée was published in the program. The other dessert was a very rich chocolate cake.

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I ran into a few familiar faces. Pictured below is Zoe, my favorite Group Power instructor at Genesis Health Clubs. She was there with EagleMed. Two of my classmates from Leadership Wichita were also at the event: Jennifer with Grant Thornton and Marc who is on the local AHA board.

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We had a little fun during the live auction. Luckily there were no puppies or we would have been in trouble. LOL.

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I was forbidden from bidding on anything but I couldn’t help myself. I managed to win one of the silent auction items that I bid on that evening: a shopping party at Chic Street Boutique. I can’t wait to set it up!

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I wish we could have stayed because I love The Source. They’ve performed several times at the annual Filipino ball.

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We pretty much just stayed long enough to claim our silent auction prize. We even skipped the chocolate fountain. What’s wrong with us? LOL.

If we have the opportunity to attend again next year (which I’m hoping that it won’t be last minute so I’ll have a chance to plan a better outfit) I need to remember to wear my comfortable dancing shoes.

Here are pictures from the last couple of years:
20th Annual Wichita Heart Ball
21st Annual Wichita Heart Ball

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21st Annual Wichita Heart Ball

Posted on February 22, 2015 by under Events.    

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Brian and I had a blast last night at the 21st Annual Wichita Heart Ball at the Drury Plaza Broadview Hotel. We were excited for the opportunity to attend the event again this year because we had a great time last year.

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Our table consisted of a bunch of young people this year — my coworker Josh and his wife Jessica, Isaac and wife Crystal, Nykole and husband Allen, and Shanda and Nykole’s sister Tyfanee who was her plus one. Brian and I were definitely the oldest in our group, but not the oldest there. With the exception of the Sweethearts, most of the people who attend the Heart Ball are older. Let’s face it. Not many people in their 20s or 30s can afford the $300 ticket price ($500 per couple).

I’m not sure that Brian and I would even be able to go if it weren’t for the free tickets from work. Well, we probably could but I’d have to reallocate all my charitable contributions. If I dialed back my United Way and YMCA donations then we’d have the funds to go. LOL.

The free tickets to the Heart Ball are a nice perk, though. And one that I really appreciate because it allows me to not sacrifice any of my other charitable giving.

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The Wichita Heart Ball is probably the fanciest fundraising event/gala that we attend. The decor this year was even better than last year. The food looked fantastic as usual, but Brian and I agreed that the food wasn’t as good as last year.

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My steak wasn’t tough to eat but it was touch to cut with a regular knife. I think it’s because of the way they cut the meat. I don’t think it would have been as challenging had they provided everyone with steak knives. Brian’s main complaint was that his steak was too pink in the middle. He’s a well done kind of guy.

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The flourless chocolate torte was delicious and I ate every bit of mine. Last year there were two dessert options — the chocolate torte and creme brûlée — but this year you only had once choice. I’m thinking maybe the creme brûlée wasn’t as popular last year and so they just decided to go with the safer choice.

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Of course, if you didn’t quite get enough to eat, there’s always the chocolate fountain at the official after party — the Pulse Party is where everyone gets to cut loose to music provide by The Source.

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Had to take a selfie at the Pulse Party.

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We danced to a couple of songs and then had to rest our feet.

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My feet were killing me because I had to wear my extra tall heels. I would have worn the heels that mom loaned me to wear with the dress that she also loaned me but the dress was too long. The only way to keep the hemline from sweeping the floor was to wear super tall shoes.

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We took a few more selfies while we waited for the silent auction to close. We won a couple of baskets and had to wait to check out, which we couldn’t do until 10:45 pm.

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I was exhausted by the end of the evening but we had a lot of fun. I hope we have the opportunity to attend again next year.

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Light Your Heart 2016

Posted on November 9, 2016 by under Events.    

Here are some fun photos from Light Your Heart last weekend.

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Starting with obligatory selfies.

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Ran into Mary Anne…

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Not done with selfies just yet.

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Jessica and Josh attended the event as well and looked dapper in coordinating outfits. Here’s another selfie of me and Brian during the “Clink and Drink” portion of the evening.

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Josh tried to win the “Cheers for a Year” drawing consisting of 52 bottles of liquor — one for every week of the year.

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Another selfie…

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Meatballs and some other appetizers were served before dinner.

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A selfie selfie…

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Ran into Denise…

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Table selfie…

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Mike and girlfriend.

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James and wife.

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Josh and wife.

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We had excellent dinner companions.

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Lamphouse photo booth pics.

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Dinner salad…

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Dinner…

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Dessert…

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They auctioned off golf at Flint Hills National with both Coach Gregg Marshall and Mayor Jeff Longwell. This was definitely the highlight of the live auction as there wasn’t a puppy this year. And, thank heavens for that. LOL.

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While that was the highlight of the live auction, the highlight of the entire evening was Mayor Jeff Longwell singing a few tunes for the crowd.

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Our emcee for the evening, KWCH’s Michael Schwanke challenged the guests to donate at least $100 to Heartspring to entice Mayor Longwell to sing for us. Sure enough, several guests answered the call, and Mayor Longwell, the good sport that he is, sang a few songs.

They raised a good chunk of change for Heartspring that evening. What a wonderful event!

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