I have worked at the food bank, picked up litter on the side of the road, done sock wraps at Christmas, been a Girl Scout leader, chaired the school book fair for years, served as an Odyssey of the Mind coach, been a National Charity League mom for my two girls, and chaired the school fashion show. I am much happier serving and supporting fellow passengers than doing traditional paid work.
This year, I am consumed, energized and sometimes terrified by my position as Chairman of the Phoenix Heart Ball Twenty Twelve. We raise funds and support the American Heart Association. This tradition started back in 1959, with Mrs. Barry Goldwater as the very first chairman. The Phoenix Heart Ball is consistently one of the most successful Heart Balls in the nation, and is steeped in honor and tradition.
Why do I do it?
Generally, I volunteer because I value the camaraderie of a tightly knit community with a shared purpose. I do not volunteer because I’m bored, can’t get a “real job”, or can’t make friends on my own.
As to the Heart Ball specifically, I lost three grandparents – Grandma Ruby, Grandma Anna and Grandpa George – to heart disease. My mother and I both have mitral valve prolapse. Heart disease is personal to me.
Lynne with Grandma Ruby and sisters
Lynne and her mom
As Michele’s post yesterday said, though aspects of the Heart Ball are glitzy to the max, most of my work is down in the weeds. What does a Heart Ball Chairperson do?
-maintains an inventory of freshly ironed shirts, shined shoes, and thank you cards.
-works 17 hours a day.
-hangs with extraordinarily talented women, like Christine Gustafson and Sarah Suggs Cheek, former Heart Ball Chairs who both work in business but also heavily invest their time serving on many charities as well. Chris and Sarah led Heart Ball 202 this morning. Seriously, these women could be the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies or get our troops out of Afghanistan – poste haste in heels – but instead are pouring it all back into the community. As they say in basketball, they leave it on the court every day.
-carries the torch for prevention and treatment of heart disease, the primary cause of death for Arizonans and Americans.
It’s hard NOT to get excited about the Heart Ball. Thanks to the Heart Ball, we have created and support the Halle Heart Children’s Museum, which is the only museum of its kind and allows second and fifth grade students, many of them from Title One Schools, to learn how to prevent heart disease. The museum teaches preventative strategies, including diet, exercise and what to do if someone is having a heart attack. These are critical since childhood obesity is way threatening our kids. This is the first generation of children who may not outline their parents because of the Childhood Obesity epidemic. Thank you to Michelle Obama, who has championed this cause for our country.
The Heart Ball also supports ground-breaking research in our state and benefiting everyone. Back when Peggy Goldwater chaired the ball, no researcher had even dreamed of Pacemakers or stints, and they are now saving lives every day. Donors support the work of researchers at the Mayo Clinic, Barrows Neurological Institute, University of Arizona and Arizona State University.
I have passion for the cause of eradicating heart disease. I encourage you to find a volunteer cause you feel equally passionate about, and would love to know if you already have.
What does your current volunteer menu include, or what type of volunteer activity do you crave? Okay, I know you’ve got lots on your plate, and are really busy, but maybe tell us one detail of how you schedule in time to help someone else.
Michele and I really care about all you like-minded volunteer moms. We support you!