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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2017:04:08 20:50:25

More than 250 business, health care and community leaders gathered recently at the Westmoreland Club in Wilkes-Barre to fight heart disease and stroke at the annual Northeast PA Heart Ball. The fire-and-ice-themed gala raised more than $177,000 for the American Heart Association.

The evening’s Open Your Heart appeal featured the story of Andrea and Matt Grotzinger of Clarks Summit. The Grotzingers’ first child, Vienna, died from a critical congenital heart defect. In Vienna’s memory, the Grotzingers organized a team of over 100 family and friends for the 2016 Northeast PA Heart Walk. In their first year, the Sparkles for Vienna team was the top fundraising community team at the walk. The Grotzinger’s and Sparkles for Vienna team will be returning to the Heart Walk on April 29 this year, this time with their new baby, Jack, born in February.

“Ever since Jack came, it feels like she sent us a gift and little pieces of her,” said Andrea Grotzinger. “It’s our hope that Vienna’s name can help someone else. She can do something amazing even though she was only here for three days.”

More than $14,890 was raised.

For more information about sponsorship opportunities or tickets for the 2018 Heart Ball, call 570-430-2391 or email

Matt and Andrea Grotzinger share the story of their daughter, Vienna, during the Open Your Heart appeal.