Most of America’s television sets were fixed on the annual Academy Awards celebration Sunday, February 28th in Los Angeles. It’s here that “Spotlight” became the evening’s surprise movie, capturing the venerated Oscar® award for Best Picture. Back on the East Coast, and particularly in Rochester, NY, the spotlight was on Eastman Business Park, where over 200 people gathered for an American Heart Association event both to raise funds for the local AHA, but also to celebrate the Oscars® at the birthplace of motion picture film.
Though three hours ahead in terms of time zones, the Rochester Oscar gala took place simultaneously with the Oscars. From large television screens linked directly to the events in LA, visitors to the Rochester Oscar Gala got to participate from long distance in all of the festivities taking place on the West Coast.
The Rochester event included a bevy of Oscar relevant goings-on. Couples got to experience the excitement of an Oscar® red carpet. There was an anteroom filled with silent auction items. One could view and be photographed with one of Kodak’s nine Oscar® statuettes. Couples also danced to the music of Rochester’s That Party Band, or took the occasion to preview vintage-to-modern-day motion picture memorabilia.
But there was a deeper sense of purpose to the gala at EBP. It was Eastman Kodak Company’s way of jump starting the 2016 American Heart Association Rochester Heart Walk and Run , which takes place April 16th in the city, and kicks off in the shadows of the Kodak tower.
There was also a reason why the co-chairs both for the Oscar Gala and for the AHA Walk/Run – the Kodak husband/wife tandem of Dolores and Brad Kruchten – decided to put their collective stakes in the ground to support heart health.
Brad Kruchten explains: “Dolores and I are the co-chairs of this year's Rochester Heart Walk and Run, so this is very personal for us. We will participate in the Heart Walk to promote physical activity to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke for my loved ones and me.”
“As a person who is battling heart disease, I truly appreciate and value what the American Heart Association is doing to help make the world a better place,” Brad said. “Imagine the impact if we reduce death and disability from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent by 2020!”
Thanks in part to the efforts of Brad and Dolores, the Rochester AHA 2016 Walk and Run goal has already achieved 30% of its goal, some of it coming from what was raised at the Rochester Oscar gala.
“It is the passion that Brad and Dolores have towards improving the community around them that helps us, as the American Heart Association, deliver on our mission,” said Marc Natale, Executive Director of the AHA, Rochester and Buffalo region. “This amazing event helped to spread awareness and highlighted a key partnership in our efforts to continue to build a culture of health right here in Rochester.”
The Rochester AHA Walk and Run is an opportunity for everyone to stay fit, stay heart healthy, and stay close to a cause that can save the life of someone you know!