On April 18, the sounds of music and laughter will fill the historic Mint Museum Randolph as Hearts Beat as One Foundation presents its inaugural Founders’ Ball — the first annual fundraising event planned by the organization.

Founded last year, Hearts Beat as One Foundation says it is a “community driven organization that is striving to raise funds and awareness for organizations and people based in the Queen City.” In their first year of operation, the group has helped to raise support for groups like the Safe Alliance, Campus Pride and the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network. They’ve also turned their attention to childhood education and literacy, bringing the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to low-income children in Charlotte’s 28205 ZIP code.

Those successes will be celebrated at the Founders’ Ball in April.

“This is poised to be our signature annual event going forward. It’s expected to be a celebration of our first year’s accomplishments,” said board member Christina Stritzinger. “This kicks us off into our second year and sets us up for future successes and another great year of events and fundraising for the non-profit community in Charlotte.”

Mike Blackwelder, a co-chair for the inaugural event, says the event will continue Hearts Beat as One Foundation’s mission of supporting other organizations, supporting three charity partners — the group’s own work with their Dolly Parton Imagination Library of Mecklenburg County, Autism Charlotte and Safe Alliance, for which Blackwelder works as chief advancement officer.

foundersball_logo“We’ve helped so many organizations throughout the year,” Blackwelder said. “At the Founders’ Ball itself, we plan to give away up to $75,000 … as well as some scholarships and grant funding. There’s lots to celebrate that night.”

Attendees at the event — men are asked to wear white tie and women in cocktail attire — will find a unique experience.

“This isn’t a typical fundraising event where you go buy a plate, sit down and are expected to bring out a check book and give more money away,” Stritzinger said.

Balckwelder said visitors will be able to move from room to room in the Mint Museum, where a variety of entertainers — icon Deborah Cox and comedian Leslie Jordan, along with local bands and — will be performing for guests.

“I don’t think there’s any other event like it in Charlotte,” he said.

Along with Blackwelder, other Ball co-chairs are board member Tommy Feldman and Charlotte City Councilwoman LaWana Mayfield.

In addition to Deborah Cox and Leslie Jordan, other entertainment includes Synergy Violins of Greenville, S.C., Seattle’s DJ Bret Law and Charlotte’s Miami Dice. Early bird tickets, which run through March 27, are $75 for regular admission and $140 for a VIP ticket. Admission rises to $125 after the early bird rate ends.

The event will be held at 8 p.m., April 18, Mint Museum Randolph, 2730 Randolph Rd., in Charlotte.

For more information, visit heartsbeatone.org. Tickets can be purchased at thefoundersball2015.eventbrite.com.

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.

One reply on “Foundation preps for ‘signature annual event’”

  1. Even though I think the choices for entertainment at this event are exceptionally great, I can’t figure out why one would pay $125 to go to this – charity or not.

    Would be great to see Deborah Cox perform at a Charlotte gay bar / club, if one existed. The ones we did have whored out to the sraights and the almighty dollar. Lookup ‘Petra’s’ for a good start. Many followed,

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