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story.lead_photo.caption Emily and Kristen Braunfisch with Neal and Lucy Lea at the Mother-Daughter Tea for the 2021 class of Central Arkansas Heart Ball Sweethearts, held Oct. 24, 2020, at the River Market Pavilions in Little Rock. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette -- Helaine R. Williams)

The morning was cloudy and crisp. But the atmosphere was festive when members of the 2021 class of Heart Ball Sweethearts, American Heart Association of Central Arkansas, showed up with their mothers for the annual Sweetheart Mother Daughter Brunch on Oct. 24 at the River Market Pavilions.

Sweethearts and their moms posed for photos taken by the event photographer before sitting down to the program. The attendees received boxed brunches from At the Corner, along with souvenir vases with a rose and fall foliage from Tipton & Hurst.

Gallery: Sweetheart Mother Daughter Tea

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They also heard Carlley Riggan share her personal story. Riggan's father, Kody, lost his life to a little-known heart condition, Brugada Syndrome. According to, Brugada syndrome is a rare, but potentially life-threatening heart rhythm disorder that is sometimes inherited. People with Brugada syndrome have an increased risk of having irregular heart rhythms beginning in the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles). Riggan carries the gene. Due to her father's loss, her life was saved, she testified.

The brunch also included a fashion show presented by former Sweethearts, who showed off apparel from boutiques Indigo and Unveiled Bridal.

-- Story and photos by Helaine R. Williams


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