AugustHeart Foundation Hosts Annual Hearts of Texas Fundraiser
By Ellie Leeper
Photography By Greg Harrison
The Scene: Recently in San Antonio the AugustHeart Foundation hosted its 3rd Annual Hearts of Texas fundraiser at the Pearl Stables with the theme “A Night of Texas Music to Save a Life.” The event offered an array of live country music entertainment while guests enjoyed an up-close-and-personal experience with several performing artists throughout the evening. Fabulous food stations and open bars lined the venue, catered by Don Strange of Texas. In keeping with the Texas music theme throughout the evening, local artists shared their talents by customizing guitar-shaped birdhouses for guests. They were then added as the event décor’s tablescapes and were sold to supporters to help advance the mission of AugustHeart.
The Vibe: Jacquelyn Conoly, one of Nashville’s most promising new artists, kicked off the evening with her powerful voice. Talent also included the sound of James Vives, a musician born and raised in San Antonio who was a friend of August Koontz, the organization’s namesake. Guests had the chance to purchase a special AugustHeart Pendant designed by Roberto Coin to raise awareness about the importance of heart screenings among youth. The grand finale featured Texas country music legend Pat Green, who also signed two guitars to give away at the end of the evening to further support the cause.
The Cause: Local couple Bart and Dore Koontz began the AugustHeart Foundation after losing their son August from the undiagnosed congenital heart condition, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). Often undiagnosed, HCM is the leading cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes, and because of AugustHeart, complimentary heart screenings are provided to student athletes throughout Bexar County, ages 14 to 18. In the two years since the organization’s inception, almost 4,000 students have been screened for this heart abnormality free of charge, and over 160 students were identified with the condition. Since then, some of those students have required immediate heart procedures.