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The American Heart Association Beats In The Hamptons

Chelsea Katz

Dr. James Taylor of Stony Brook Medicine, Roseanna Scotto of Fox News, Caroline Loeb, Eric Trump of The Trump Organization and Barbara Poliwoda of The American Heart Association. (Photo: Chelsea Katz)

Hearts were a major theme this Saturday in the Hamptons.

The muggy weather did not stop 480 people from auctions, cocktail hours and paying tribute to the American Heart Association at the 17th Annual Heart of the Hamptons ball at The Hayground School in Bridgehampton on Saturday, June 29, 2013.

Every year, the American Heart Association honors three people- one for "distinguished service," one for "distinguished leadership" and a "heart hero" who embodies the theme of the ball. This year's honorees were Dr. James Taylor of Stony Brook Medicine, Eric F. Trump of The Trump Organization and "Heart Hero" Caroline Loeb, a childhood obesity survivor.

Dr. Samson Woo of Stony Brook Medicine and Andrew Graves of Goldman Sachs co-chaired the evening. Roseanna Scotto of Fox News served as M.C.

Rosanna Scotto and Alicia Bellandi. (Photo: Michele Steudte)

A cardiac surgeon for 22 years, Taylor said that he was "flabbergasted" when he found out that he was the physician of honor. "I've spent my whole career on Long Island," he said. "It is a very rewarding thing for them to recognize me."

Trump has been working with the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York (formerly known as Schneider Children's Hospital.) Over the past year, he has worked to contribute millions of dollars to the children's hospital in New Hyde Park.

"It's such an honor to be able to support the American Heart Association," Trump said.

Barbara Poliwada, a Regional Director of the American Heart Association, said that the goal for the evening is to raise $500,000. 1-in-3 people will suffer from heart disease in their lifetime.

"Every single person knows someone with heart disease," said Dr. Ed Hayes of Stony Brook Medicine who has been to the Hamptons ball for at least the past 10 years. Also there to support Taylor, Hayes said that the American Heart Association is big into prevention of illnesses like women's heart disease.

In the immediate New York area, the American Heart Association donates money to The Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, SUNYs Downstate Medical Center and Stony Brook and Memorial Sloan Kettering among others.

Aside from the $500 tickets, the ball also started with a silent-turned-live auction. Some of the items up for grabs included tickets to a taping of the "Late Show with David Letterman" and dinner at Rossini's, a polished bronze violin, a 2012 New York Giants collector's football which garnered at least $175 during the silent bidding, a luxury hot tub and more.

Bill and Victoria Wright. (Photo: Michele Steudte)

Most of the auction items lined the walls of the tent at the cocktail hour. Among the line of auction items stood Miss LI Outstanding Teen Sarah Pierson and her mother, Amy. The two had guests signing petitions for reform in NYC school's physical education classes. Specifically, they were signing petitions to mandate students to 30 minutes of physical activity a day in gym classes and to make CPR certification mandatory for high school graduation.

"People think kids are getting more than they are," Sarah said. She also mentioned that budget cuts in the New York City school system were supplementing academics in the classroom at the cost of the gymnasiums down the hall.

After the cocktail hour, guests moved into the main room in an adjoining tent for the live auction, the "Heart Hero" presentation, the buffet dinner, the awards presentation to Taylor and Trump as well as The Mystery Box Raffle.

Throughout the evening, "That 70's Band" provided entertainment and Scotto hosted. She has been involved with the American Heart Association on and off for the past few years and was also there to support her friend, Trump.

"This is a great event," Scotto joked in regard to the number of doctors in attendance. "If you need a doctor, it's good if you have an ailment..."

Update: According to Jessica DiMeo, a spokeswoman for the Long Island branch of The American Heart Association, The Heart of the Hamptons ball raised $500,000.

For more information about the American Heart Association, visit their website http://www.heart.org.

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