The gift of time
WBAP's Hal Jay shares powerful story of life-saving transplant with Tarrant Heart Ball
What: 2023 Tarrant County Heart Ball
Where: The Worthington Renaissance Hotel
The 411: On January 10, 2023 popular WBAP morning radio host Hal Jay collapsed from an irregular heart rhythm. On February 3, he underwent a heart transplant. By April 4, he was back on the air, and on April 22, he was sharing his story in person as keynote speaker for the American Heart Association's Heart Ball.
In his brief but powerful remarks, Jay thanked his wife, Ann Harbuck, his family, and medical providers, and God for saving his life. In keeping with the gala's theme, "The Gift of Time" Jay said he had a new-found appreciation for "giving your heart and body time," emphasizing, "I will never NOT exercise again."
The 2023 gala - chaired by Stephanie and Michael Klein - brought together hundreds of Heart Association supporters, philanthropists, and medical personnel. They were seated alongside heart disease survivors and their families, who shared their harrowing stories to inspire fellow guests.
The evening's proceedings were led by mistress of ceremonies, CBS News anchor Nicole Baker, under the guidance of AHA executive director Corrie Harris.
After a cocktail reception and multicourse (heart-healthy) meal of mixed greens salad, pan-seared jerk chicken, and berry tart and chocolate mousse, guests had the opportunity to give through an "Open Your Heart" appeal.
Those holding out with bigger bucks bid fast and furiously in a live auction. Up for grabs were trips to Broken Bow and Big Sky; packages for the Charles Schwab Challenge and Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo; Duke basketball tickets; Ginger Walker Art; and a De Boulle necklace.
Those who wanted to continue the celebratory evening took to the dance floor while the Mitchell Ferguson Band entertained.
In all, the night raised $300,000 to further the American Heart Association's work in Tarrant County.
Who: Aimee Plummer, Robin Carson, Melinda Bronstad, Allison and Tug Rix, Becca and Johnny Cheng, Lori and Brad Bruce, Trey and Kristin Carmichael, Angela and Rick Bettinger, Arturo Ruiz, Mercedes Cruz, Ava Beach, Allen Beach, Elaine and Shawn Tubre, Emily Howard, Hatice Dalton, Marcia Jacobs, Eric and Shannon Benink, Anthony and Cynthia Villagran, Nancy Murphy, Sarah Harbuck, Emily Avila, Robert Luera, Shehla Shah, Syed Nayyar Shah, Thomas Williams, Suzy Pratt, Lou Martin, Jennifer and Kenneth Willingham, Tammy and Heath Middleton, Kassy and Jacob Flesher, Chrissy and Jordan Long, Matt and Katie Foust, Treanise Owens, Joel and Lisa Mohrman, Michael Tilley, Denise Castle, Georfe Terrazas, Boozaziel Chavez, Tim Dohse, and hundreds more AHA supporters.