The American Heart Association’s annual Greater Des Moines Heart Ball, chaired by Mercy College of Health Sciences President, raised more than $600,000 on February 15. The annual black-tie event drew in 700 attendees and featured custom skits and songs from The Second City Works, the professional services arm of the world-renowned Second City improvisational comedy theatre from Chicago, along with KCCI anchors Eric Hanson and Alyx Sacks.

“I am continually humbled by the compassion and commitment of the Des Moines community by supporting the American Heart Association’s mission,” stated Mercy College President. “The funds raised during the 2020 Heart Ball will make an indelible impact on the lives of individuals with heart disease across Iowa for years to come. I know how important health education is, and these donations will help continue to educate and invest in the future of cardiovascular health outcomes. It was an honor to be part of this year’s event.”

During the event, Ashley Jared-Salow, Communications Director at Iowa Finance Authority, received special recognition as the Judy Willis Volunteer of the Year. Jared-Salow has volunteered with the American Heart Association throughout the past five years and has continuously championed the overall success of the Heart Ball. 

The American Heart Association is currently investing more than $9.5 million in research and education projects across the state of Iowa as part of their goal to reduce deaths from heart disease and stroke while improving the lives of all Americans. Cardiovascular diseases, including strokes, are the number one killer of Iowans. The funds raised through the Heart Ball will be used to support local efforts to create a world where individuals live longer, healthier lives. 

About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies, and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookTwitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

About Mercy College of Health Sciences
Mercy College of Health Sciences is the only private Catholic college in central Iowa and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Located in downtown Des Moines, Mercy College prepares graduates for service and leadership in the healthcare community with a wide range of bachelor, associate, and certificate programs. Visit or call (515) 643-3180 to learn how you can start Charting Your Course.

About The Second City Works
Second City Works is the professional services arm of the world-renowned Second City improvisational comedy theatre. We use the Improv methods pioneered on our stages to create events, content and professional development programs that drive personal growth and organizational improvement.