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More than 200 people joined the American Heart Association at the annual Lincoln Heart & Stroke Ball March 9 at Embassy Suites-Lincoln. The event, in its 19th year, raised more than $100,000 for the American Heart Association, an organization that invested $1.7 million in 10 new and continuing research studies last year in Nebraska.

Emceed by 10-11 Now’s Jon and Taryn Vanderford, the evening featured a silent and live auction, dinner, dessert and dancing.

The evening's highlight was the crowning of the 2019 Heart Survivors, Kathryn Johnson and Holden Pavlish. Both survivors were born with congenital heart defects. These are the most common birth defects in the United States, affecting nearly 40,000 births each year, or 1 out of every 110 children born. The causes are unknown, but doctors and scientists are making progress each day.

The survivors and their families were treated to a special surprise before the event, a visit with Husker football head coach Scott Frost. In January, coach Frost was awarded the American Heart Association’s Coach “Bear” Bryant Award. Frost briefly took the stage to thank Nebraskans for their support and the warm welcome home.

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