(Huntington, NY) Physicians, cardiologists and American Heart Association supporters gathered to celebrate the 53rd Annual Long Island Heart And Stroke Ball at Oheka Castle in Huntington on May 5, 2016
The Heart Ball and Auction is an annual social event held to recognize outstanding accomplishments of individuals and companies in the area of cardiovascular science and leadership. The evening included dinner, dancing and a silent auction which offered a bountiful assortment of generously donated items.
Former Boxer and Nuitrionist Chris Algieri with Cognac.
The evening celebrated the work, mission, donors, volunteers, and — most importantly — the lives saved and improved because of everyone’s effort associated with supporting The American Heart Association. The Heart and Stroke Ball is always an engaging evening of fun and passion bringing community and philanthropic leaders together. Last year, the Heart Ball campaign raised just over $71 million nation-wide allowing the organization to fund life-saving research and prevention programs in our community and across the country.
The American Heart Association’s mission is building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. This year 2016 Event Chair was Mr. Philip H. Wachtler from Wahtler Knopf Equities. The 2016 Vice Chair was Adam Silvers, Esq, Managing Partner of Ruskin, Moscou, Faltischek, P.C.
The evening’s honorees included 2016 Cardiovascular Science Award Recipient: Dr. Harold A. Fernandez, Chief of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery of Southside Hospital Northwell Health and 2016 Corporate Leadership Honoree Monte N. Redman, President & CEO of Astoria Financial Corporation and Astoria Bank.
Michele Gevat with Cognac.
Dr. Harold Fernandez’ epic journey brought him from the turbulent violence and drug wars of Medellín, Colombia, to the charm and beauty of the mythic classrooms, libraries, and laboratories of Princeton University and Harvard Medical School. On his way to fulfilling his childhood dream of helping others, he endured many struggles. His is a story of inexhaustible love, unfailing determination and human compassion. It shows that in America all dreams are possible.
During the evening I interviewed the honorees including 2016 Cardiovascular Science Award Recipient: Dr. Harold A. Fernandez, Chief of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery of Southside Hospital. He expressed his gratitude and revealed the importance of exercise and diet to prevent cardiovascular disease.
Cognac: Welcome back darlings I am Cognac Wellerlane and I am here at the 53rd Annual Long Island Heart Ball and I am here with Dr. Harold Fernandez. He is one of the honorees here tonight. Can you tell my audience about the award you are receiving tonight.
Dr. Harold Fernandez: This award is the Cardiovascular Science Award. It really means a lot to me because it comes from the American Heart Association. The American Heart Association does a lot of work to really work on diagnosing, preventing and treating heart disease which is what I do as a cardiovascular surgeon. I am the Chief of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery of Southside Hospital so it is really an honor for me to be getting this award tonight.
Now there is an interesting story, it sought of is a wonderful story. It is a dream come true for you here in American for you to be receiving this award, am I correct in saying that?
Dr. Fernandez: That is correct in fact you know it is special because I am here with my parents and my family. My story and my dream of helping other people through medicine was made possible by the fact that I had this chance to come to America. I lived here without documents for many years and I came here in a small boat that came through the Bermuda Triangle.
Wow, and you are from Columbia?
Dr. Fernandez: From Columbia, yes, so I risked my life but I did it for the opportunity to really be in a country where dreams are possible.
And they are, most certainly they are many people have had their dreams come true right here in the good old USA.
Dr. Fernandez: That’s right, in fact I told my son and my daughter all the time that I came here before they build a wall around the United States.
Long Island Heart Ball Honoree Dr. Harold Fernandez with Cognac.
That could happen. Tell my audience as a doctor, as a renowned cardiologist, what should we all do to prevent heart disease? What kind of foods should we eat, what kind of diet should we have, what kind of exercise… what is so vital for us staying alive and not getting heart disease?
Dr. Fernandez: I try to make it simple for my patients. I give them three pieces of advice. The first one is to stay active meaning three or four times a week they should cardiovascular exercise meaning fast walking, may be treadmill, jogging, swimming… keep a really close eye on the weight. Initially I tell them not to concentrate on losing weight but to really concentrate on not gaining weight and the third one is to really watch what they eat particularly avoiding saturated fats and really having a mixed diet. I tell them to keep a notebook where they write down things because a lot of times it is easy to forget what we do and what we don’t do and that way they can sought of look at their notes at the end of the month and see if they are actually doing the exercise and watching their weight.
Is bicycle riding, is that good exercise?
Dr. Fernandez: Excellent.
You know I am a cancer survivor. I had breast cancer so now I try to eat only vegetables and beans.
Dr. Fernandez: There is a video on the Internet called “The Last Heart Attack.” I tell all my patients to watch. It really tells the importance of what we should eat in preventing cardiovascular disease.
Long Island Heart Ball honorees.
Tell my audience where we can all go to prevent heart disease and to find out more information? What is the website of the American Heart Association?
Dr. Fernandez: They can just look up the American Heart Association on any search engine and it will bring you to the American Heart Association Website.
Which is Heart.org?
Dr. Fernandez: That’s right.
I also had the opportunity to speak to 2016 Corporate Leadership Honoree Monte N. Redman, President & CEO of Astoria Financial Corporation and Astoria Bank
Long Island Heart Ball Honoree Monte Redman with Cognac.
Cognac: Tell my audience about this award you are receiving tonight, what does it mean to you?
Mr. Monte Redman: Well it is a very special honor because it represents all 1,500 employees of Astoria Bank. Astoria Bank has been doing this for a number of years… helping AHA by raising funds to do all the things they have to do. We are involved with the “Heart Walk.” We have over one hundred employees walking for funds to support AHA and actually Astoria Bank is in the top corporate sponsor of “Go Red.” We have fundraising at our corporate headquarters and we also do it at the branches. This honor for me is representation of all 1,500 Astoria Bank employees who work very hard for AHA because it is a great organization.
Monte N. Redman is proud to be a part of Astoria Bank’s longstanding commitment to fighting heart disease and its ongoing support for the American Heart Association. As a leading corporate fundraiser for Go Red for Women and a dedicated sponsor and participant in the Long Island Heart Walk, Astoria Bank is passionate about its role in promoting heart healthy living throughout the communities it serves.