By Avery Thomas, American Heart Association

Dust off your ball gown and tux for a night on the town for the American Heart Association’s 2023 Triad Heart Ball! This event is on Friday, April 21 at Legacy Stables and Events in Winston-Salem.The Heart Ball celebrates the American Heart Association’s collective success in driving change, and funding science. Along with, encouraging behaviors that improves heart health in our community.

You can enjoy a gourmet dinner, participate in silent and live auctions, and celebrate local survivors. Additional you will  get moving on the dance floor with Hot Sauce performing live. However, there is more to the Heart Ball than just the fun. It’s about raising vital funding to benefit heart disease and stroke research. Plus, it benefits community impact programs focusing on prevention of cardiovascular disease. Heart disease and stroke currently claim more lives than all forms of cancer and chronic lower respiratory disease combined.

Since 1949, the American Heart Association has funded more than $5 billion in research and currently funds more than 1,600 scientists across the United States. In the Triad, the American Heart Association is currently funding nearly $2.8 million in research grants at North Carolina A&T State University, High Point University, and Wake Forest University’s School of Medicine. The next big discovery for heart disease and stroke could come right from our own backyard!

The American Heart Association’s mission is to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With help from supporters, the impact in Triad neighborhoods is nearly $700,000. This is in community impact programs focused on nutrition education, hypertension management, and maternal health.

This year, the Heart Ball and Heart of the Triad initiative’s focus is on stroke and prevention. As part of Encompass Health’s Platform Sponsorship and in an effort to increase awareness of the warning signs of a stroke, a traveling display of large F.A.S.T. letters are on exhibit throughout Triad businesses and organizations this year.

“F” stands for face drooping. “A” stands for arm weakness. “S” stands for speech difficulty. “T” stands for time to call 9-1-1. If a person shows any of the symptoms, even if their symptoms go away, call 9-1-1! Plus, get the person to a hospital immediately.

According to the American Heart Association, every 40 seconds, someone in the U.S. has a stroke. Additionally, every three minutes and 17 seconds, a person dies from a stroke. The faster a stroke is treated, the more likely the patient is to recover. In addition, stroke patients treated with a clot-busting drug within 90 minutes of their first symptoms are almost three times more likely to recover with little or no disability. To learn more about stroke, visit

The good news is that heart attack and stroke-related events can be largely preventable with education and lifestyle changes.These changes include knowing your vital health numbers, moving more, reducing sodium intake, and adding fruits and vegetables to your diet. Along with managing vital health numbers including blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar. For more information on the risk factors for heart disease and stroke, visit

“Like many individuals across the country, I have personally experienced how cardiovascular disease can impact a family,” said Anita Prendergast, 2023 Triad Heart Ball Chair and CEO of Novant Health Rehabilitation Hospital, an affiliate of Encompass Health. “In addition, our team at Encompass Health sees the devastating effects of stroke every day in our community through the services we provide at our rehabilitation hospital. Encouraging all families to learn the F.A.S.T. warning signs of a stroke is critical to identifying a stroke quickly, leading to the best possible treatment options and outcomes for patients. I am honored to help lead this effort in the Triad.”

The Triad Heart Ball is proudly sponsored by Life is Why Sponsor, Novant Health, and Platform Sponsor, Novant Health Rehabilitation Hospital, an affiliate of Encompass Health.

Don’t want to miss out on this event? Tickets are on sale now at For event questions, contact

Website: or direct link 2022-2023 Triad Heart Ball
Facebook: @AHANorthCarolina
Twitter: @AmericanHeartNC
Instagram: @AmericanHeartNC