An Affair of the Heart

Bonding over food and fashion

What could be better than the combination of food and fashion for the sake of charity?

(If you’re trying to find an answer, stop:  there isn't one.)

This Friday, the Women’s Board of the American Heart Association of the greater Washington area will present the 63rd annual luncheon and fashion show, “An Affair of the Heart,” at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel

An Affair of the Heart Luncheon and Fashion Show is one of the longest running non-profit fundraisers, spanning more than 60 years.  To date, the event has raised more than $4.5 million, contributing toward research aimed at lowering risk of heart disease, especially among females. 

“The reason for the longevity of the event is the dedicated membership that feels very passionate about heart research that has tirelessly and continuously put in all that it takes to put on this event,” said Jacqueline Kelly Collamore, PhD, chairman of the 2010-2011 Women’s Board Executive Committee.

This year, Saks Fifth Avenue, Chevy Chase, will feature the spring and summer 2011 Akris collection, created by designer Albert Kriemler.  Guests interested in the clothes line will have the opportunity to order immediately after the show.

“Over the years, we have developed many loyal corporate sponsors. This luncheon is truly a community and a communal effort in the name of furthering heart research and thus saving lives,” said Dr. Collamore.

What’s for lunch? 

Don’t worry, the ladies of the luncheon have got you covered:  guests will nosh on chicken roulade with artichokes and sundried tomatoes, followed by a treat for sweet tooths abound, strawberry mousse in a chocolate lattice cup.

Gail Mates, Go Red for Women spokeswoman, has attended past luncheons as a way to connect with other supporters but also to promote a cause that hits close to home.  “I was invited [to] An Affair of the Heart by my girlfriends.  Almost everyone in my family has died of heart disease.  I thought it was extremely important to support this cause,” she said.

Attendees of the luncheon have also included nearly every first lady, including Bess Truman, Mamie Eisenhower, Lady Bird Johnson, Rosalind Carter, Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush and Laura Bush.  This year, the board will be hosting Mayor Vincent Gray and his daughter. 

“People should come to remind themselves about heart issues which are focused in our program,” said Dr. Collamore.  “The American Heart Association does a tremendous job in being a resource to people through their extensive online networks like and If through our event we can help to promote awareness of the disease and these networks that is vitally important.”

Finally, in addition to raising awareness for heart disease, the idea of camaraderie is what keeps women coming back, time and time again.

“I had the ability to come together and meet other women who were bonded together to wipe out heart disease,” said Mates. “I [find] it to be a true sistership, almost like a sorority of women banding together to try to wipe out the number one killer of women.”

Tickets cost $120 per person, and $70 of that amount is tax deductible. To purchase tickets or request information, contact Hillary S. Brendzel, senior director of corporate relations, at (703) 248.1735 or For more information, visit

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