The American Heart Association's 63rd Annual Heart Ball Goes "Through the Looking Glass

Kathryn & Leo  Vecellio



It’s a perennial Valentine to remember, as The Heart Associations's Annual Gala, The Heart Ball, supports lifesaving research and education programs to fight heart disease and stroke. And throws a fabulous celebration!


Monika & John Preston



The Heart Ball, the longest running gala on Palm Beach island, returned to the Venetian ballroom at The Breakers this Valentine’s Day. The American Heart Association is the world’s leading voluntary organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.


Michael & Annie Falk with Don McKenna

The tradition associated with the Heart Ball was even stronger this year as chairmen Lee Ann and Jeffrey Alderton, the first husband and wife team to chair the event, have a family connection to chairing the gala. Not only has Lee Ann been a co-chairman in a previous year, her mother, Mrs. Robert G. Hurbaugh, also chaired the Heart Ball in 1984.


Beth Mourelatos & Erica Whitfield 



The Palm Beach Heart Ball, long the premier social event of the season with prominent families  long supporters of the gala and its standing, which has brought celebrities, politicians and philanthropists alike to revel in the unrivalled elegance of our town. Guests and Honorary Chairmen have included Joan Crawford, Perry Como, Bob Hope, Senator Jack Kennedy, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Frank Sinatra, Esteé Lauder, Lilly Pulitzer and countless others.


Auctioneer Tim Luke



The ‘Alice in Wonderland’ themed gala featured pre-dinner cocktails and a silent auction while guests were welcomed by models showcasing fashion by Escada. The cocktail hour was followed by dinner, dancing, and full program emceed by Beth Mourelatos, Vice President and Executive Director of the American Heart Association, Palm Beach, as well as a live auction with the top selling item being a two-year lease of a Lincoln Black Label MKZ..   


Tim Luke persuades Melissa Sullivan to increase her auction bid

“The American Heart Association depends on the commitment of hundreds of volunteers in our community to help support their important goal of building lives free from cardiovascular diseases and stroke,” said Jeffrey Alderton. “I want to thank the hundreds of people from Palm Beach, and afar, who came out to show their support. Without this support, we couldn’t have raise the critical funds still needed to help us save thousands of lives each year.”


Champagne & Journal from the Gala



This year, the "Heart of Palm Beach Award" was presented to Erica Whitfield, a board member of both the Palm Beach County School District and the local American Heart Association. Whitfield led the way in making it a high school graduation requirement for all Palm Beach County students to receive Hands-Only CPR training prior to their graduation day. Due to her efforts, and those of her fellow American Heart Association board members, Palm Beach County is now leading the way as one of only 14 counties in Florida to make being trained in Hands-Only CPR a graduation requirement. 


Lee Ann Alderton dances the night away with her guests

The Palm Beach Heart Ball is supported by Legacy Sponsor Mount Sinai Heart New York at Jupiter Medical Center. 


Additional sponsors of the Ball include Jeffrey and Lee Ann Alderton, Randy and Rebecca Doane, Michael and Annie Falk Foundation,  Dr. Karen Mashkin – Mashkin Family Foundation, Hermé de Wyman Miro and The International Society of Palm Beach, Suzanne Niedland, Judi and Ray Richards, Melissa Sullivan, Kathryn and Leo Vecellio, Margarita and Ed Allinson, Cleveland Clinic Florida,  Edward Dadakis and The Excelerate Foundation, Mr. John Domenico , Janet and Mark Levy, Monika and John Preston, Julie and Howard Rudolph, The Frederick W. McCarthy Family Foundation, J.M. Rubin Foundation, and Mrs. Robert Tomsich.




Photos by Capehart

The American Heart Association is the world’s leading voluntary organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. For information, go to



Ice Sculpture of Legacy sponsors of the Heart Ball




Fashions from Escada





Virginia Oatley & Chris Leavitt




Alderton Family: Ryan and Taylor Blaszczyk, Lee Ann & Jeffrey Alderton, Maggie & Bradford Alderton




Julie Rudolph & Matt Holland




American Heart Association Board of Directors, Palm Beach: Dr. Darryl Miller, Deborah Caplan, Melissa Mickle, Erica Whitfield, Kathryn Vecellio & John Domenico




Palm Beach Heart Ball Vice Chairmen: Suzanne Niedland, Hermé de Wyman Miro, Judi Richards, Rebecca Doane & Melissa Sullivan




The Breakers shone red spotlights in honor of the event.




















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