Photography by Brian Tierney
Guard A Heart Foundation, a non-profit organization, raising awareness for cardiovascular disease by educating on the dangers of vulnerable plaque, held a Fashion Show Fundraiser at the Strands in Dana Point on July 14. Aviir Diagnostic Laboratory hosted the event. The event’s theme of “Keeping the Moments Alive” resonated throughout the evening, emphasizing how important it is for us to make heart disease prevention a part of our every day lifestyle, and that each moment we share with our loved ones is the true measure of our life’s value. Dr. Bahar Sederati reminded attendees of the importance of heart health, smoking cessation, regular exercise, stress management and getting thorough physicals. Celebrity designer Marisa Kenson also gave a heart-felt testimony regarding the importance of heart disease prevention, pledging her support to Guard A Heart’s mission to save lives needlessly lost or those disabled by heart disease.
The evening festivities included festive live music by Hope and Hawaiian Artist Brian Pi’ikea Vasquez. Upon arriving, guests were offered tasty drinks donated by Tommy Bahama, Blue Ice Vodka, Vegan Wine and mouthwatering appetizers donated by K’ya, Vintage Steakhouse, Stillwater Grill, Gemmells and Socially Sweet.
More than 150 guests attended this elegant event, featuring a lively fashion show with designs by Tommy Bahama, Marisa Kenson and Dr. Bahar Couture, directed by highly regarded fashion show producer Julie French. Brian Tierney, official Guard a Heart photography captured highlights of the evening’s events. In addition, several VIP’s were awarded the Guardian of Hearts award for their philanthropic efforts on heart disease awareness and prevention. Dr. Bahar Sederati, lead internist with Bahar Medical Group; Dr. Douglas Harrington, CEO of Aviir Diagnostics; Susan Jeske, CEO of the Ms. America Pageant; Willie Gault, Founder of Athletes for Life, former America football wide receiver and Olympic athlete; and Lora Thomas, of Kyani were included in those honored.
One hundred percent of proceeds from the event will go towards Guard a Heart’s “Know Your Risk, Save a Life” campaign, which uses donated funds to offer free cardiac testing for those who cannot otherwise afford it. Its mission to save lives is only made possible by countless volunteers within the community raising awareness of this highly preventable disease.
Members of the Guard A Heart Board of Directors including Hayward Sawyer, Jerry Nostadt, Tom Scuccimarra & Najib Khoury were in attendance and presented the evening’s awards. Other guests who attended include: Annie Nelson, founder of OC American Soldiers Network; Michele Berk, producer of Baywatch creator, Soul Surfer, K-11; Debbie Durkin, Los Angeles Sustainable Producer; Janeane Bernstein Event MC and Radio Talk Show Host; Hawaiian Artist Brian Pi’ikea Vasquez; Miss Afghanistan, Vida Samadzi; Ms. America Nicole Rash; and US Marines Timothy Black, Angelo Sarni, Andrew Grothem and Cress Forester.
Guard A Heart is a non-profit foundation dedicated to raising awareness of heart disease prevention by spreading the word to guard your heart and save your life. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. If individuals know their risk and take the necessary steps, the good news is that most cardiovascular disease is preventable. Although heart disease is typically diagnosed in adulthood, its roots are often found in childhood. Compelling research has shown that plaque buildup in the arterial walls begins very early in life and progresses through increasing degrees of atherosclerosis. Intervention strategies and healthy lifestyle changes to reduce heart disease risk should begin in childhood when reversal of the process is easier, not later in life when the disease is more fully developed. Guard a Heart Foundation provides funding for individuals who are unable to pay for cardiac risk assessments.