2015 Annual Meeting
On September 22nd Heart Society supporters celebrated the agency’s accomplishments of the past year and recognized special volunteers and donors. Dr. Mark Thompson, an Interventional Cardiologist and the Cardiac Service Line Physician Administrator for CaroMont Heart presented the program. Steve Huffstetler, President of the Board of Directors, presented awards to volunteers and businesses that have been very supportive of the Heart Society.
The 17th annual Golden Heart Award was presented to Dr. Ronald Digby. This prestigious award recognizes the contributions of individuals who have significantly promoted the mission and the goals of the Heart Society. For the last 38 years Dr. Digby has worked diligently to increase awareness of heart disease, promote heart healthy lifestyles and provide care to heart patients through his professional and civic endeavors in Gaston County. Shortly after moving to Gastonia in 1977, Dr. Digby joined the Heart Society’s Board of Directors. He accepted a leadership position as 1st Vice President the next year, then a term as President. Dr. Digby was instrumental in the development of the Sharing and Caring Program. Today this program still serves as the foundation for the Heart Society’s heart health education efforts targeting adults. Dr. Digby’s volunteerism did not end when he rotated off the Board of Directors. He has continued to volunteer as a speaker and is very devoted to the ongoing success of the agency. The Heart Society recognized his outstanding volunteerism with the WL Balthis Award in 1982. Mr. Huffstetler recognized Dorothy Cherry and Amy Lawing, who co-sponsored the Golden Heart Award in memory of their mother, Eunice Cherry, who was a longtime Heart Society volunteer, and Douglas R. Harris Jewelers for donating the design, labor and fabrication of the award.
The Jennie Craig Watson Award was presented to Jennifer Tamberella. Jennifer has worked on the Silent Auction for the Heart Ball for the last 4 years. She uses her energy and enthusiasm to reach out to new donors and bring in items to keep the auction fresh and exciting. Jennifer puts a lot of time and effort into building relationships with donors and making sure that they realize what their support means to the Heart Society. She also helps with setup on the morning of the Heart Ball creating an appealing auction that encourages guests to make lots of bids. Jennifer’s dedication, enthusiasm and organizational skills have contributed significantly to the ongoing success of the Heart Ball.
The WA Anthony Award was presented to Wix Filters. Wix has generously supported the Heart Society for more than 15 years. They support the Heart Ball as a sponsor and auction donor. They also commit volunteer manpower to the Heart Society. Their generosity is surpassed only by their genuine desire to make a difference.
The WL Balthis Award was presented to Steve Campbell. Steve began his volunteerism with the Heart Society when he joined the board in 2008. Over the years he has used his wealth of volunteer experience in leading nonprofits to help the Heart Society. He has utilized his numerous contacts in the community to secure support for events and to recruit new members for the board. He served 3 years on the Executive Committee including a term as President in 2012-2013. He has been an active member of the Open Heart Open Committee and served as the Chairperson for the event.
The following special event volunteers were recognized.
Betty Ann Wittenberg
Walter Gray, Chairperson of the Nominating Committee, presented the slate of board members and officers for 2015-2016. Bryan Farris was recognized for his outstanding leadership and volunteerism as the President of the Heart Society’s Board of Directors in 2014-2015.
Running an organization like the Heart Society takes the time and support of numerous individuals who are willing to generously share their time and talents. Thanks to these supporters, the Heart Society made a significant impact on the heart health of almost 11,000 people in our community last year.