BALTIMORE -- The Orioles announced a partnership with the American Heart Association on Friday that will have the club serving as event chair for the 30th Annual Baltimore Heart Ball on Feb. 1.
The Orioles are the first professional sports team to lead such an effort since the AHA's founding in 1924.
"We were honored to support the Heart Ball last year, and this year we wanted to take more of a leadership role to meet the mission of the AHA, a cause that is important to our players, our organization, and the community at large," Orioles ownership representative Louis Angelos said in a press release. "We believe that with the additional support from the entire Orioles family, we can add even more excitement to the campaign and help save more lives."
The Orioles and the AHA have set what would be a record-setting $810,000 fundraising goal for the Baltimore Heart Ball. Proceeds from the event benefit breakthroughs in cardiovascular disease research, education programs and advocacy efforts. A considerable portion of the funds are also directed to local institutions such as Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland.
"The Orioles' and the Angelos family's commitment is incredibly exciting for the AHA and for Baltimore," AHA senior director Angela Wheeler said. "The team members are amazing athletes who practice our core mission and values of maintaining a proper diet and exercise, which makes them a perfect partner."
The Heart Ball is a black-tie celebration that features more than 500 of Baltimore's most prominent physicians, corporate, health care, philanthropy and community leaders to salute the AHA's impact on the Greater Maryland Community. The event features a cocktail hour, gourmet seated dinner, dessert, dancing, live and silent auctions, free valet parking, a special individual giving appeal and the presentation of the Watkins-Saunders Award. Named after Dr. Levi Watkins and Dr. Elijah Saunders, this esteemed award is presented to an individual who exemplifies excellence in diminishing healthcare disparities.
The two organizations are also partnering on a ticket offer available exclusively at www.orioles.com/AHA that will allow fans to contribute to the cause as well as planning events to educate Baltimore City children on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.
Fans can visit www.orioles.com/AHA to take advantage of an exclusive 50 percent off ticket discount for all tickets for each game between now and Sept. 8 simply by donating $10 to the American Heart Association for each ticket purchased. The webpage also contains additional details of the Orioles/AHA partnership, a calendar of AHA events and heart-healthy tips for fans.
The 30th Annual Baltimore Heart Ball will take place on Saturday, Feb. 1 at 6 p.m. ET at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel, located at 700 Aliceanna St. For more information about the Baltimore Heart Ball or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Angela Wheeler, senior director, Heart Ball Events, at 443-690-7795 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.