FAYETTEVILLE — More than 1,000 well-dressed young professionals — some wearing more than others — gathered at the Fayetteville Town Center Saturday night for Paint the Town Red, a fundraiser for the American Heart Association.
This year’s affair, the 11th in the history of the organization, was the eighth in which it has sold out. With the help of presenting sponsors General Mills, the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and Harps Food Stores, organizers were expecting to net about $150,000. Theresa Barrera and David Shaw were the ever-capable co-chairmen.
Paint the Town Red targets a younger adult crowd, thereby teaching them at a younger age how to prevent heart disease and stroke. The two diseases, the nation’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers, claim more than 910,000 American lives a year.
All around the town center, there were signs, banners and pamphlets reminding guests about the importance of heart health. Even the Cheerios bee, manned by Erika Golphin, got into the act, posing for photos with a lifesaver-sized Cheerio.
Healthy eating habits fell to the wayside, however, as partygoers bellied up to food stations manned by just about every popular eatery in the Benton and Washington county area. Guests lingered in line for fare from Cafe Rue Orleans, Catering Concepts Inc, Copeland’s of New Orleans, Ella’s Restaurant, Crabby’s Seafood Bar and Grill, Emelia’s Kitchen, The Flying Burrito, Hawg House Brewing Co. Restaurant and Bar, Olive Garden, Penguin Ed’s, PF Chang’s China Bistro and Spiedini Italian Grill.
Perhaps the most popular station, however, was the Grey Goose martini bar, where drinks were complemented by mixers from Snapple. With enough drinks under their belts, many hit the dance floor for two sets by one of the area’s most popular party bands, Boom Kinetic.
For those who wished to be away from the noise of the band, a silent auction in the town center lobby provided a nice reprieve. More than 154 packages were offered, including a week-long stay at a condo in Myrtle Beach, S.C.; a Razorback helmut autographed by former Hog Payton Hillis; use of a suite for 20 people at a Northwest Arkansas Naturals game; jewelry, video games; and more.