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Fundraiser to support Loveland Heart Safe City

By Paul Matthews

Banner Health

McKee Medical Center Foundation gala to be held Nov. 1st

Loveland, CO (Oct. 23, 2014) – The McKee Medical Center Foundation will donate funds raised during its annual gala this year to the Loveland Heart Safe City initiative. The public health project – a partnership of the McKee Medical Center Foundation, McKee Medical Center, CardioVascular Institute of North Colorado, Loveland Fire Rescue Authority, Thompson Valley EMS, Loveland Police Department, Loveland Emergency Communications Center, Thompson School District, and area residents Tom Lucero and Julie Kruit – seeks to improve survival rates from sudden cardiac arrest by increasing the availability of automated external defibrillators (AEDs) and educating community members on how to administer CPR.

The 33rd annual McKee Presents gala will be held Saturday, Nov. 1 from 6 p.m. to midnight at Embassy Suites Hotel, Spa & Conference Center in Loveland. This year’s theme is Broadway Musical. The event will celebrate the many genres of Broadway with captivating performances, a gourmet dinner, live music and dancing, just-for-fun gaming tables and a silent auction. In addition, the Foundation will announce the 2014 McKee Philanthropy Award. Individual tickets to the event are $250. For more information or to purchase tickets please contact Diana Wood at 970-395-2687 or

In March, the McKee Foundation and its Heart Safe City partners began an initiative to place AEDs in every school building, athletic fields and swimming pool in the Thompson School District. Eventually, they’ll place AEDs in community gathering points like senior centers. 

“Schools are not able to use state funds for AEDs and rely on philanthropic gifts,” says Julie Johnson Haffner, executive director of the McKee Foundation.  

In May, 1,400 cyclists participated in the McKee Foundation’s McKee Classic Bike Tour which raised $78,000 for Heart Safe City. Part of those proceeds will be used to train 2,500 community residents in CPR and AED usage “to remove the intimidation factor,” Haffner said.