For One Oregonian or Washingtonian, an Olympic Experience Awaits

While the Olympics are in full swing up north in Vancouver, attendees of this weekend’s Greater Portland American Heart Association Heart Ball will have a chance to share a true Olympic experience of their own even after the games have ended.

Among the world-class auction items that have been donated to help raise funds and excitement at this weekend’s Heart Ball is a package appropriately dubbed the “Olympic Experience of a Lifetime – in Portland!” This package includes dinner at the Heathman Restaurant & Bar with two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Mariel Zagunis. Mariel won a gold medal in Fencing at the Summer 2004 games in Athens and again at the Summer 2008 games in Beijing. The auction item also includes two private fencing lessons with the USA National Coach Ed Korfanty and a one-month membership from Oregon Fencing Alliance.

“We’re thrilled and grateful for the number of extraordinary experiences and items that have been donated for this year’s Heart Ball,” explains Erin McDonough, executive director for the Oregon/SW Washington chapter of the American Heart Association. “Despite any economic challenges, some incredibly generous sponsors have stepped forward in an effort to help raise desperately needed funds to promote cardiovascular health nationally and more specifically, locally. Funds raised are funneled right back to support the Oregon and SW Washington community in the form of research grants, outreach and education.”

The Heart Ball is one of Portland’s preeminent social affairs, taking place this Saturday, February 20 at The Governor Hotel. In addition to the formal ball atmosphere, the event offers silent and live auctions; dancing; wine tasting from some of the region’s most renowned vintners; and five-star dining courtesy of McCormick & Schmicks.

Other experiences that will be made available via auction at the Heart Ball this weekend include:

Paris Package: A weeklong Paris retreat in a Paris apartment complete with Roundtrip Business Class airfare to Europe donated by Biotronik, Inc.

“A New Best Friend”: Adopt a new “best friend.” This unique item includes waived adoption fees from the Pixie Project, all the dog supplies a new pet owner needs, plus grooming, training, microchipping, daycare, training and more!

The Other Side of Sin City: This three-night/four-day vacation includes roundtrip tickets for two on Alaska Airlines plus accommodations at JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa and a Visa gift card for fine dining.

“Spa”cation at aWellspringHeart: This “spa”cation from Wellspring Heart includes seven nights in a private bungalow at the Oregon Garden Resort in Silverton, OR. This retreat includes all meals; Social Activities such as hiking and wine tasting, personalized nutrition/exercise programs, and more!

John Mayer in Seattle: More than just concert tickets for four at KeyArena VIP Party Suite to see Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter John Mayer in concert, this package includes: An Amtrak gift certificate for an easy way to Seattle, dinner for four at McCormick & Schmick’s on Lake Union, plus overnight accommodations and breakfast for four from the Hyatt at Olive 8.

A “Magical” Family Weekend: This package features all the entertainment and thrills that Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure park have to offer, plus a visit to the Aquarium of the Pacific. Roundtrip tickets for four courtesy of Southwest Airlines.

For more information about the 14th Annual Heart Ball: A Toast to Good Health, visit

Updated 02-18-2010

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