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20th Annual Metro Detroit Heart Ball Breaks 50 Year National Record


More than 80 companies join together to raise $2.1 million for cardiovascular research

Detroit -- The American Heart Association’s 20th Annual Metropolitan Detroit Heart Ball, presented for the sixth year by General Motors, broke a national organization record on Saturday raising $2.1 million for cardiovascular disease research. The amount raised was not only the largest generated out of the 250 American Heart Association Galas in 2007, but also in the 50-year history of the organization’s galas in the nation.

Chaired by GM Group Vice President and Chief Information Officer Ralph Szygenda and his wife Shelby, the Metro Detroit Heart Ball drew 800 prominent business, medical and community leaders. More than 80 companies supported this year’s event which focused on children’s heart health.

“I credit the success of this year’s Metro Detroit Heart Ball to the organizations and individuals that supported this event. Beyond the platinum and gold sponsors there are so many in this community that provided financial support or donated live or silent auction items to assure the success of this very worthy cause. This event served two very important purposes: to raise awareness of heart disease as well as to raise funds for lifesaving cardiovascular research and community education programs,” said Ralph Szygenda.

“Congratulations to General Motors, Ralph and Shelby Szygenda and the entire Detroit Heart Ball committee. Volunteers are at the heart of all we do. It takes a visionary leader and committee to accomplish what this group did Saturday night,” said Cass Wheeler, chief executive officer of the American Heart Association. “Significant steps have been made to further the lifesaving research that reduces disability and death from heart disease and stroke.”


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