Community Choice crushes fundraising record for American Heart Association during Heart Month

Des Moines, (February 27, 2019) –The energy level and commitment were infectious this year at the American Heart Association’s Greater Des Moines Heart Ball on Saturday, February 9th, breaking both fundraising and attendance records for the annual black-tie event which serves as the American Heart Association of Iowa’s largest fundraiser.

Josh Cook, CEO of Community Choice Credit Union, and Brooke Cook, Supervisor of Solution Development Services at ITA Group, Inc. were co-chairs leading the nine-month fundraising campaign and were instrumental in setting the vision and strategy that helped excite longtime supporters and engage new patrons. 

“American Heart asked us to chair the Heart Ball this year because they were looking for something different. They wanted to add the vibrancy and uniqueness that Community Choice brings to everything we do.” said Josh Cook, CEO. “We were proud to leverage our UNbanking spirit, helping to create a dynamic experience for attendees and supporters. The critical funds raised will provide a positive impact for all Iowans.”

The “Paint the Town Red” themed event boasted several memorable and unexpected touches including a 2018 Ford Mustang raffle, live painting by artist Ben Schuh,  and new and exclusive live and silent auction items. Perhaps the most memorable was a special performance by Ryan Hamilton, one of Netflix’s top new comedians, as the live entertainment for the evening.

In 2018, co-chairs Bob Ritz of Mercy and Eric Crowell of Unity Point helped set the previous fundraising record of $625,000. This year’s goal to attract and encourage support through an energetic atmosphere proved effective with Community Choice’s efforts helping to raise $890,000 for the Central Iowa American Heart Association, surpassing the goal of $675,000.

“We’re amazed and inspired by the Community Choice team and their passion for improving and supporting the communities they serve. We did not anticipate surpassing the fundraising goal by over $215,000” said Kayla Kovarna, Central Iowa American Heart Association Executive Director

Community Choice also teamed up with Des Moines Radio Group’s Ken, Colleen and Kurt from Star 102.5 to raise additional funds through a 12-hour radio-thon held at Jordan Creek Town Center on February 14th, 2019.

The funds raised through Heart Ball will be used to support local efforts helping people live longer, healthier lives. Cardiovascular diseases, including stroke, are the No. 1 killer of Iowans. The American Heart Association is currently investing more than $9.5 million into research and education projects in the state of Iowa as part of their goal to reduce deaths from heart disease and stroke by 20% while improving the health of all Americans by 20% by the year 2020. 


About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies, and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

About Community Choice

Community Choice is a financial institution in constant and persistent pursuit of providing unexpectedly delightful experiences to its members, employees and surrounding communities. Guided by its UNbanking spirit since 1953, Community Choice has become trusted as the beacon for financial product and service gratification for thousands of Central Iowans. It allows you to UNbank your way with a blend of retail stores and digital channels offering a full suite of consumer and business solutions. Visit us at

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