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A crowd gathered at the Charleston Marriott to support the American Heart Association in their efforts to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Guests mingled during cocktail hour and participated in a silent auction bidding on bottles of fine wine and locally made crafts.

The night continued with a seated dinner from Cru Catering. On the menu was an arugula and fig salad, herb rubbed petite filet and lump crab cake, and fresh berry Napoleon with house made whipped cream. Meanwhile, guests partook in a vigorous live auction, where popular items included two tickets and airfare to the US Open Tennis Championship in New York City, a private dinner with wine pairings for ten people with chef Joe Palma from High Cotton, and a gorgeous painting entitled “Between the Oaks” by featured artist Christopher Groves.

After the auction, master of ceremonies Victoria Hansen of ABC News 4 showed a video and introduced special guest Holly Folk. Last year, Folk suffered a brain aneurysm, a stroke, and cardiac arrest at the age of 28. She was given an estimated 20 percent chance of survival, but was able to recover and walk down the aisle with now-husband Will, thanks to the American Heart Association.

The annual Heart Ball Art & Wine Auction has collectively raised more than $1 million since 2010. Dollars raised fund local research and patient education. In the past year, the organization has reduced heart disease deaths by 8.8 percent and stroke deaths by 10 percent. They funded 980 cardiovascular research projects, making AHA the top funder of cardiovascular research aside from the federal government. They passed CPR bills in 11 states and implemented Get With The Guidelines in more than 2,000 hospitals nationwide, drastically improving outcomes for heart disease and stroke patients.