Red carpet event raises funds for heart disease research

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Sometimes called the silent killer, heart disease claims more lives than any other disease in the world, according to the American Heart Association. On Saturday evening, leaders with the organization's Greater Kansas City branch gathered for the 31st annual Heart Ball to raise awareness for this disease and raise funds for important research about this and other cardiovascular conditions.

"I hope that people understand that heard disease is their number one health threat and I hope that people really feel connected to the mission and to making healthier lifestyle changes because that is what we all need to do because 80% of heart disease is preventable," said Laura Lopez, Executive Director of the The American Heart Association of Greater Kansas City.

At Saturday's event about 1,000 guests walked a red carpet entrance and enjoyed a performance by the Kansas City Boys & Girls Club Choirs to kick off the event.

The fundraiser also featured a gallery displaying medical devices to showcase how the American Heart Association has impacted local medical research and care. This 31st annual event featured a heart warming story of survival from Chris Williams, a two time heart transplant recipient and stroke survivor.

Organizers say they hope guests leave with a renewed passion for improving their own heart health and that of their friends, families and community members.

"I want people to feel like that they have made a difference, that they are our partners in changing and saving lives in Kansas City. The more people invest, and the more people get involved and take charge of their own health the better outcomes that they will have," said Lopez.

The American Heart Association‚Äč is funding about $3.8 million dollars in local research efforts to help combat heart disease and stroke.