Hearts aflutter

A $2 Million Night: Valentine's Day party shatters records as sexy ladies in red show a lot of heart

A $2 Million Night: Valentine's Day party shatters all-time records

20 Anna Lebidinsky with J&D Entertainment, from left, Ford Beckham, Bell Blakemore, Steven Guithier, Sarah Watts and Katie Connor at Heart Ball February 2015
Ford Beckham, from left, Bell Blakemore, Steven Guithier, Sarah Watts and Katie Connor. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
5 Marc and Brenda Watts at Heart Ball February 2015
Heart Ball chairs Marc and Brenda Watts. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
11 Matt and Lacey Goossen, from left, Anna Lebidinsky with J&D Entertainment, Jay Goossen and Courtney and Bas Solleveld
Matt and Lacey Goossen, from left, Anna Lebidinsky with J&D Entertainment, Jay Goossen and Courtney and Bas Solleveld. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
15 Kimberly Harris, from left, Shataria Greene and Shawntell McWilliams at Heart Ball February 2015
Kimberly Harris, from left, Shataria Greene and Shawntell McWilliams. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
19 Dr. John and Kathryn Higgins at Heart Ball February 2015
Dr. John and Kathryn Higgins, winners of teh Lexus IS 250. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
22 Nate and Cristyle Murphy at Heart Ball February 2015
Nate and Cristyle Murphy. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
13 Arvia and Jason Few at Heart Ball February 2015
Arvia and Jason Few. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
17 Dr. Julia Andrini and Dr. Robert Phillips at Heart Ball February 2015
Dr. Julia Andrieni and Dr. Robert Phillips, high bidders on the Tahitian pearl necklace. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
14 C.J. Alvarez, from left, Leticia and Steve Trauber and Katie Pryor at Heart Ball February 2015
C.J. Alvarez, from left, Leticia and Steve Trauber and Katie Pryor. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
4 Yulia Pearce and Dr. Daniel Penny at Heart Ball February 2015
Yulia Pearce and Dr. Daniel Penny. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
3 Peter and Jeanne Kinnear at Heart Ball February 2015
Peter and Jeanne Kinnear. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
8 Leslie Stratta, from left, Kelsey Tarpinian, Yulia Pearce and Nancy Calles at Heart Ball February 2015
Leslie Stratta, from left, Kelsey Tarpinian, Yulia Pearce and Nancy Calles. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
9 Ashley and Brian Rundall at Heart Ball February 2015
Ashley and Brian Rundall. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
1 Doug and Jeannie Pferdehirt at Heart Ball February 2015
Doug and Jeannie Pferdehirt. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
2 John and Cindy Gremp at Heart Ball February 2015
John and Cindy Gremp. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
21 Alexander Rogers, Anna Lebedinsky with J&D Entertainment and Linda Rogers at Heart Ball February 2015
Alexander Rogers, from left, Anna Lebedinsky with J&D Entertainment and Linda Rogers. Photo courtesy of © Alexander's Fine Portrait Design
20 Anna Lebidinsky with J&D Entertainment, from left, Ford Beckham, Bell Blakemore, Steven Guithier, Sarah Watts and Katie Connor at Heart Ball February 2015
5 Marc and Brenda Watts at Heart Ball February 2015
11 Matt and Lacey Goossen, from left, Anna Lebidinsky with J&D Entertainment, Jay Goossen and Courtney and Bas Solleveld
15 Kimberly Harris, from left, Shataria Greene and Shawntell McWilliams at Heart Ball February 2015
19 Dr. John and Kathryn Higgins at Heart Ball February 2015
22 Nate and Cristyle Murphy at Heart Ball February 2015
13 Arvia and Jason Few at Heart Ball February 2015
17 Dr. Julia Andrini and Dr. Robert Phillips at Heart Ball February 2015
14 C.J. Alvarez, from left, Leticia and Steve Trauber and Katie Pryor at Heart Ball February 2015
4 Yulia Pearce and Dr. Daniel Penny at Heart Ball February 2015
3 Peter and Jeanne Kinnear at Heart Ball February 2015
8 Leslie Stratta, from left, Kelsey Tarpinian, Yulia Pearce and Nancy Calles at Heart Ball February 2015
9 Ashley and Brian Rundall at Heart Ball February 2015
1 Doug and Jeannie Pferdehirt at Heart Ball February 2015
2 John and Cindy Gremp at Heart Ball February 2015
21 Alexander Rogers, Anna Lebedinsky with J&D Entertainment and Linda Rogers at Heart Ball February 2015

It was a sweetheart of a night indeed when the American Heart Association's annual Heart Ball, held on Valentine's Day, earned a whopping $2 million, breaking previous records and surpassing the financial goal by $500,000.

For this special evening, the  Hilton Americas-Houston ballroom was awash in swaths of pink, purple and red decor by Bergner & Johnson, the theme accented by the scores of ladies stepping out in red gowns for the black-tie fundraiser.

Taking bows for the over-the-top success were chairs Brenda and Marc Watts, president of The Friedkin Group, which cosponsored the gala with Lexus. Also contributing to the fundraising effort were auction co-chairs Judy and Russ Labrasca and Amanda and Jeff Malone, Open Your Heart chairs Liz and Robert Rigney and auction-raffle chairs Mel Johnson and Eric Weiser.

Gala honorees, contributing their part to the gala's success, were Jeanne and Peter Kinnear, Community Honorees; Medical Honoree Dr. Daniel Penny of Texas Children's Hospital; and FMC Technologies, Corporate Honoree. The program included a moving testimonial by 12-year-old heart transplant patient, Anthony Hailey Jr., who told of his journey from being the youngest person in the U.S. to receive an LVAD implant before a heart could be found to get that transplant.

The night's diversions began with J&D Entertainment aerial performers, who gave special meaning to the gala theme — "Love Is in the Air" — as they twirled and swung above the cocktail reception crowd. Sauce the Band kept the dance floor hopping. 

Among the happiest of the Valentine's Day love birds were Catherine and Dr. John Higgins, winners of the Lexus IS 250, and Dr. Julia Andrieni and Dr. Robert Phillips, who were top bidders for the one-of-a-kind Tahitian Pearl necklace designed by Mark Pharo.

Celebrants included Arvia and Jason Few, Lacey and Matt Goossen, Jan Carson and Tim Connelly, Jim Postl, Leticia and Steve Trauber, Dianne and Mike Bowman, Marsha and Fred Haas, Kristin and Jay Waring and Debbie and Jack Moore.