American Heart Association’s Miami Heart Ball Raises Over Half a Million

Funds raised will contribute to lifesaving research

Lon Rosen & Family

The American Heart Association held their annual Miami Heart Ball at the Mandarin Oriental on Brickell Key. Surpassing their goal by raising over half a million dollars, the organization’s mission was celebrated and supported among key community influencers in the social, medical and business field.

Chairing this year’s campaign was Dr. Sanford and Beatrice Ziff, alongside Carlos Castresana, Practice Leader and Vice President of Insurance Services at Wells Fargo. Together with the executive committee, Harvey and Roberta Chaplin of Southern Wine & Spirits and Miguel “Mike” B. Fernandez of Chairman of MBF Healthcare Partners, L.P., were chosen as the recipients of the 2014 “Dr. Sanford L. and Beatrice Ziff” Big Humanitarian Award. This award recognizes influential members of the community who have made significant contributions to society.

Annually, The Cor Vitae Heart and Stroke Committee, composed of Board Members and past recipients, works to identify medical pioneers that serve the South Florida community. Dr. Romualdo “Peter” Segurola and Dr. Ralph L. Sacco were both honored for their extensive work and dedication towards improving the health of Americans in Miami-Dade. Both recipients have made noteworthy medical advances and actively advocate for the mission of the American Heart Association.

The American Heart Association’s Heart Ball is a nationwide gala that celebrates the organization’s mission and success in building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Thanks to donor support, the organization can continue the fight against heart-and stroke-related illnesses.

In support of the organization, Mr. and Mrs. Paul and Swanee DiMare of DiMare Fresh and Miguel “Mike” B. Fernandez and Family were this year’s Legacy Sponsors. Southern Wine & Spirits, represented by Chairman Harvey Chaplin and his wife Roberta Chaplin, demonstrated their support as Signature Sponsor. The Master of Ceremonies was Keith Jones, reporter at NBC 6 and longtime supporter of the organization.

Gladys & Luis Del Pozo

Upon arriving, guests enjoyed a cocktail reception and live entertainment. The program began with a “chance to win”, where guests had the opportunity to win an assortment of unique prizes and luxurious experiences. The program then unfolded into a spectacular Live Auction. Top bidders included Harvey Chaplin, Jesus and Liliana Quintero, and Ben and Brooke Getler; winning prizes such as an exclusive trip to the Bahamas donated by the Prime Minister of Bahamas himself, a painting by artist Alexander Mijares, and a one-week getaway in Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic, donated by Carlos Saladrigas.

The most moving part of the program, was the “open your heart” moment, presented by Lon and Christine Rosen. Their daughter Mia was born with a congenital heart defect called coarctation of the aorta. As a newborn, she underwent open heart surgery to correct the defect. Today, Mia is a happy and healthy six year old with a big personality. Currently doctors are watching her aortic valve, because she has a defect called biscupid valve – which makes her valve the same size of an adult’s valve. Her family is grateful to the American Heart Association for funding the research that enables Mia to lead a normal life in spite of her condition.

The evening ended with the announcement that Dean Pascal Goldschmidt, of the University Of Miami Miller School Of Medicine will be the 2015 Miami Heart Ball chairman.

Sponsorships for next year’s Miami Heart Ball are available at all levels. To learn more about the Miami Heart Ball, please call Maria Hunt at 954-364-5009 or visit

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