40, Fabulous — and Touting a Never-Before-Seen Bidding War — the Heart Ball Was a Bash to Beat 'Em All

Daniel Ortiz and Wilson Parrish
40, Fabulous — and Touting a Never-Before-Seen Bidding War — the Heart Ball Was a Bash to Beat 'Em All

Dance floor at the Heart Ball

ON THE EVENING of the American Heart Association's 40th-annual Houston Heart Ball, event chair Kelly Hackett gleefully welcomed more than 500 guests — many clad in rich shades of the night's signature color, red — to the ballroom of the Hilton Americas.


The gala also toasted the 100th anniversary of the national organization, and raised $1.25 million to further its life-saving work.

The night began with electric tunes courtesy of Demola, Houston's hippest violinist, who serenaded guests to their tables with a rendition of "I've Got a Feelin." Khambrel Marshall directed the evening from the stage, where featured speaker Wallis Marsh took to the mic to share his story of survival. Later, 16 honorees received a standing ovation for their tireless dedication to working toward health equity, whether that's via food security or heart health.

A live auction brought on a different kind of excitement and emotions. Led by Logan Thomas, the lively event touted vacations, jewelry and more. One especially fun moment was when gala chair Hackett engaged in a bidding war with Peter Fluor, all over a pair of ruby-and-diamond earrings, donated by Diamonds Direct. She eventually won — and walked over to Fluor to gift him the baubles!

Tunes courtesy of Midtown 10 Band, followed by a big balloon drop, closed out the evening.

Tim Singletary and JoAnne Houck

Alicia and Esmaeil Porsa

Angela and Chad Cole

Steve and Janna Roberson

Beth Wolff and Cheryl Byington

Russ Laberasca, DJ Warner and Damien LaPar

Leila Gilbert, Mona Williams, Liz Jameson

Beverly and Jim Postl

Kelly Hackett and Danielle Hammons

Bruce Padilla and Courtney Cole Hall

Jennifer and David Balevic

Jody Merritt and Christine Johnson

Judy and Russ Labrasca

Meryl Johnson and David McPherson

Julia Andrieni and Robert Phillips

DeeDee and Wallis Marsh with Jack and Julia

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