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Trish and Steve Roberson have given delicate gold heart necklaces to the young women in the American Heart Association's Sweethearts program since 1998.

Gallery: Sweetheart Necklace and Award Dinner

They continued the tradition March 8 at the annual Sweetheart Necklace and Award Dinner. The couple are owners of Roberson Fine Jewelry and they -- along with Baptist Health -- hosted the dinner.

The annual event precedes the Central Arkansas Heart Ball, a fundraiser for the American Heart Association, where the sophomore girls are presented to friends and family. The girls also were presented with awards for their volunteer hours worked as Sweethearts.

Cardiologist Dr. Anthony Fletcher was the dinner's keynote speaker, as he has been for the last several years. He gave them some recent data, stating that "for the first time in many, many years, the morbidity and mortality of cardiovascular disease is on an upswing."

"This is the first generation to have a shorter life span than their parents," he said.

"Your dollars, your efforts, help us commit to research and education," he told the guests, "so that we can translate that information to our population and our public so that they may live long, stronger and healthier lives."

The Sweetheart program was founded by Eileen and Dr. Ricardo Sotomora, who are chairmen of the 2017 Central Arkansas Heart Ball.

High Profile on 03/19/2017

Print Headline: Hearts for Sweethearts

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