2018 Annual Meeting & Awards Presentation
The Heart Society of Gaston County’s Annual Meeting was held on Tuesday, September 25th at the Gaston Country Club. Dr. Mark Thompson of CaroMont Heart & Vascular presented the program. Chris Leazer, President of the Board of Directors, presented awards to volunteers and businesses for their support of the Heart Society.
Kim Tidwell was recognized as the recipient of the 20th annual Gold Heart Award. Over the last 21 years, Kim has volunteered countless hours serving on the Heart Ball Committee. She works diligently with the Heart Ball from the first meeting of the committee to the last details that wrap everything up. In 1997 she willingly took on the task of revamping the component of the event that had been a raffle, creating a very successful Silent Auction in its place. As a result, each year the Silent Auction generates thousands of dollars to support the Heart Society’s programs. She secures items for the Silent and Live Auctions as well as Corporate Sponsors. She also works closely with Winter Past for the color theme and decorations and is instrumental with set up the morning of the Heart Ball. At the conclusion of the night of the Heart Ball, she is the last volunteer to leave after helping tear down and pack up. Kim has a special perspective on volunteerism, stating that she is very fortunate to have the opportunity to volunteer to make Gaston County a better place.
The Jennie Craig Watson Award was presented to Susie Hager. Susie served as the Team Captain for CaroMont Heart & Vascular Team for the 2018 Heart Walk. She devoted countless hours coordinating multiple fundraisers, including special breakfasts, luncheons, bake sales, a King of Hearts contest, and a raffle for 9 gift baskets. Susie’s enthusiasm, creativity and willingness to go the extra mile resulted in her team raising $7,500, which is more than any other team.
The WA Anthony Award was presented to Lowery Financial Group. Lowery Financial Group has invested in the Heart Society and its mission for more than 30 years. They are a generous supporter of the Open Heart Open Golf Tournament, and a major sponsor for the Heart Ball. Also, Johnathan Lowery and John Lowery have both volunteered their time serving on the Heart Society’s board.
The WL Balthis Award was presented to Dr. Johnathan Williams. Dr. Williams has graciously given of his time and talents to serve the Heart Society in numerous roles over the last 26 years. He has served as the President of the Board of Directors, Chairperson of the first Annual Heart Walk, Chairperson for the Medication Assistance Committee, and Chairperson of the 2018 Heart Ball. His volunteerism and leadership have impacted the Heart Society in numerous ways. One of the most significant is with the Medication Assistance Program. In 2001 he helped form a partnership with Gaston Family Health Services to access the pharmaceutical companies’ assistance programs, which has resulted in an average of $350,000 in free medications per year for local heart patients. He continues to help oversee the program and make sure it meets the needs of heart patients in Gaston County.
The following special event volunteers were recognized.
Dr. Johnathan Williams, Chairperson for the Heart Ball
Barry Smith, Chairperson for the Golf Tournament
Gina Johnson, Chairperson for the Heart Walk
Special Event Committee Members:
Dr. Alice Ann Kelly
Dr. Mark Thompson
Betty Ann Wittenberg
Dr. Rachael Wruble
Dr. Jim Arter was recognized for his outstanding leadership and volunteerism as the President of the Heart Society’s Board of Directors in 2017-2018.