By Jillian McGehee | Photography by Sara Reeves | Shot on location at The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa
The common saying “two is better than one” aptly applies to this couple. The individual career paths of Cyndi and Dr. Jeffrey Tauth intersected more than 15 years ago. Jeffrey is a cardiologist with Hot Springs Cardiology Associates, and Cyndi, a former cardiac nurse, runs their heart research company, Tauth Tri-Lakes Research. The mission fulfillment work of the American Heart Association mirrors their family values, and together, they are chairing the 10th annual Hot Springs Heart Ball.
The annual gala raises awareness to the organization’s heart-healthy initiatives, Jeffrey says. “It brings everyone together to see how the American Heart Association benefits so many people.” The work of the organization hits home, Jeffrey adds, as it spotlights how heart disease affects Hot Springs and the surrounding areas, but also how National Park Medical Center helps heart patients through research and technology. “We also learn how the organization has a national impact.”
Cyndi adds it’s important to note that a portion of the proceeds from the gala support local initiatives in Hot Springs. The highlight of the evening, she says, is the Sweetheart presentation when high school sophomore and junior girls are recognized for their commitment to the Sweetheart program. The Tauths’ daughter, Bailey, participated in the program three years ago, and they continue and celebrate other Sweethearts and their accomplishments.
The Hot Springs Sweetheart program was established in 2007 in memory of Kathryn and Paul Russell’s daughter, Caroline Grace Russell. Under their leadership, the 2006 Heart Ball took place the same week their daughter died in her sleep from a suspected heart condition. She was 2 years old. “We wanted to do something to keep her memory alive and also wanted to help educate those about heart disease and that it can happen at the youngest of ages,” says Kathryn.
Each Sweetheart fulfills volunteer hours at NPMC and LifeNet Ambulance Service in Hot Springs – some serving 100-plus hours, Kathryn says. However, they are only required to complete four hours at both facilities. National Park Medical Center also provides tours through the Catheterization “Cath” Lab and instructs the CPR certification course. Social events include a Mother/Daughter Soiree at the Hot Springs Country Club, during which Lauray’s The Diamond Center presents each girl with a special gift, and the Father/Daughter BBQ, which includes line-dancing fun.
This year’s presentation includes 39 Sweethearts as well as the Caroline Grace Memorial Scholarship, awarded to the Sweetheart that demonstrates the most dedication to the program and the most knowledge of cardiovascular disease, the Leadership Award, the Top Fundraiser Award, and the Spirit Award, which represents a past Sweetheart, Catie Cooper, who lost her life during her time in the Sweetheart program.
UP CLOSE with the Tauths
Inspired by – everyday Arkansans dealing with heart disease
Philosophy to live by – make everyday the best it can be
Favorite place – anywhere with a beach
Favorite Hot Springs spot – the lake
Something surprising – one day, we’ll be selling sunglasses on a beach somewhere