Chairs Named for 2021 Heart of Southern Arizona Effort with $1 Million Goal

Anthony and Emily Schaefer to lead fundraising campaign with $1 million goal 

The American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, has named Anthony and Emily Schaefer as chairs of the Heart of Southern Arizona Campaign 2021. Anthony leads the renowned real estate group The Schaefer Team at Long Realty Company and Emily is a Nurse at Banner-University Medical Center Tucson. In this volunteer leadership role, the Schaefers are focused on driving equitable health for every member of our community. With a special focus on improving mental health and wellness for all, they intended to raise $1 million to support the lifesaving work of the American Heart Association.  

“As a Tucson native, I know how incredible our community is and get to see it up close every day. We also see the opportunities to address social barriers that make it hard for many in Southern Arizona to make healthy choices,” said Anthony. “By leading the Heart of Southern Arizona Campaign, Emily and I can mobilize our community and create awareness to raise funds for critical resources that will save lives right here.” 

“Working as a Nurse during the pandemic, I know how fragile life can be. Moving forward, mental health and overall wellness practice must be considered imperative to ensure improved quality of life for our community,” said Emily. “I’m thrilled to lend my time, energy, and efforts to educate the community on improving mental health and wellness. Moreover, that those practices support your heart health. Anthony and I know how generous this community is and we are excited to rally them together for this million-dollar goal that will support the entire Southern Arizona community.”

The Schaefers are already in action, raising $215,000 so far. They would especially like to thank Ethan Sasz for his generous gift, which will support a sustainable blood pressure monitoring program to more than 1,000 under-resourced individuals. High blood pressure affects nearly half of all U.S. adults and is a key indicator of health that can be exacerbated in times of stress. 

The Schaefers will lead a year-long campaign, culminating in the region’s premier event of the year, the Southern Arizona Heart Ball. It will be held on February 12, 2022, at the Westin La Paloma Resort. The Southern Arizona Heart Ball unites the community in celebrating progress toward equitable health and honoring survivors of heart disease and stroke.

“We are thrilled to have Anthony and Emily’s experience, conviction and passion to help raise critical funds to advance the science and the policies that will lead to longer, healthier lives for all,” said Melissa Dye, Business Development Director at the American Heart Association.

The dollars raised by the Heart of Southern Arizona campaign fund the mission of the American Heart Association to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives while supporting priority issues in Southern Arizona. Mental health has been identified by the American Heart Association Southern Arizona board for 2022 to propel work to support the Association’s 2024 Health Equity Impact Goal, reducing barriers to health care access and quality. This year’s Southern Arizona Heart Ball is sponsored by Lerner & Rowe Gives Back and TMC Healthcare. 

The Schaefers are working with a committee of volunteer leaders, who will help the Schaefers achieve the $1 million goal. The volunteers include: 

  • Dr. Joseph Alpert, Sarver Heart Center & Dr. Qin Chen, University of Arizona
  • Shawn Best, Goldman Sachs
  • Eddie Betterton, Banner University Medical Center Tucson
  • Troy & Amanda Bogle, 1701 Solutions
  • Dr. Mark Dindal, Sahuarita Modern Dentistry
  • J.R. & Sue Durazo, Durazo Construction
  • Nate Eggman, R and A CPAs & Erica Eggman, COPE Community Services
  • Dr. Sheila Farhang, Avant Dermatology and Aesthetics
  • Grace Fricke, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse
  • Dr. Nooshin Hashemzadeh, La Vie Derma & Dr. Reza Movahed, Cardio Care 
  • Tanner Herrick, Premier Title Agency
  • Dr. Lori Mackstaller
  • Sheila-Jean Meisel, Brown Harris Stevens
  • Julie Moroyoqui-O’Leary, Arizona Vascular Specialists
  • Gabe Nevarez, 33 Realty
  • Gabriela Noriega – Alliance Group 
  • Camerone Parker, SAG/AFTRA
  • Robert Pearson, Burris & MacOmber
  • Rob Purvis, VIP Mortgage & Melissa Walker, Long Realty
  • Ethan Sasz, Paradigm Laboratories 
  • Steve Stratigouleous, AXIOS Builders
  • Fernanda Winchester, Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce

To learn more about the Southern Arizona Heart Ball, visit or contact Melissa Dye at or 520.236.4587 for more information.

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