Society / Featured Parties

The 2022 Tarrant County Heart Ball Raises Funds For the American Heart Association

The "Boots and Bling"-Themed Event Will Support CPR Training in Fort Worth

BY // 04.25.22

The annual Tarrant County Heart Ball benefiting the American Heart Association is a longstanding tradition in Fort Worth. Each year, the event raises awareness of the nonprofit’s mission, as well as critical funds for the North Texas-based organization’s programs. 

On Saturday, April 23 at The Ashton Depot in downtown Fort Worth, the black-tie ball, co-chaired by residents Jennifer and Kyle Riggs, will be a boot-stomping good time. With a theme of “boots and bling,” patrons will mix black-tie attire with Western chic. Guests will enjoy a silent auction, live auction, three-course seated dinner and entertainment by Nature Change Band.

The event aims to raise more than $500,000. In the last year, funds from previous Heart Balls provided CPR kits for community training, established stroke protocol policies, reached 10,000 patients through clinical outpatient programs, and provided more than three million people with life-saving information.

The Riggs have a personal connection to the American Heart Association and the importance of CPR. In August 2019, Kyle was 36 years old and started experiencing heart pains. Thinking it could be either the scorching hot weather or dehydration, he stopped into the store to pick up some aspirin while the family was on the way to celebrate their kindergartener’s first day of school. Jen and the children waited in the car, but Kyle never came out of the store.

After an ambulance pulled up on the scene, Jennifer and her two other children went inside to look for Kyle. He had collapsed on the floor with a flurry of activity around him. A neighbor had also been shopping at the same time and, knowing CPR, took over to save Kyle’s life until the paramedics arrived.

“CPR is the only reason I had the chance to make it to the hospital,” Kyle says.

An artery blockage caused the dramatic event, but after six days in the ICU of a Fort Worth hospital, Kyle has been able to enjoy exercising six times a week, going on family vacations and seeing his children celebrate birthdays. As co-chairs of the 2022 Tarrant County Heart Ball, the Riggs family wants to increase the number of those who know CPR.

“It 100 percent saved my life,” Kyle says. “We want to spread the importance of CPR, and we want more people to know it.”

Each year, 475,000 people die from cardiac arrest in the United States. CPR training can change that number. The American Heart Association Emergency Cardiovascular Care (ECC) trains more than 23 million people globally every year by educating healthcare providers, caregivers, and the public on how to respond to cardiac arrest and first aid emergencies.

“I have seen the impact heart disease and stroke have on our communities,” says Emile Blaine, executive director of American Heart Association Fort Worth. “I am excited to be in a position to have conversations with community partners on how we can systematically fix these issues to improve the health outcomes for all Tarrant County residents.”

Sponsorships for the 2022 event, starting at $5,000, are still available.

For more information and to buy tickets, please visit the AHA website or contact Jason Morton at [email protected].