ladies living for zachary
Photo courtesy of

Dress up for a great cause! Support the nonprofit called Living for Zachary (L4Z) by sponsoring, donating or attending the fourth annual HeartBeats Gala on Saturday, February 13.

Zachary Troy Schrah lived every day of his short life as if it were his last. This seemingly healthy 16-year-old, collapsed during a high school football practice in Plano on April 2, 2009. No warning signs existed. The Schrah family later learned that Zac had died from a congenital heart disease call hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), which is a common cause of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in young people.

After Zac’s death, a group of moms including his own researched SCA and were shocked to learn that nationwide 10,000 young people die from it each year. That is 28 youth a day!

Thus, Living for Zachary, was created. A nonprofit organization established to raise awareness of undiagnosed heart issues in teens.

The HeartBeats Gala’s first three years drew in more than 2,500 attendees, 50 corporate/private sponsors and raised more than $1 million. This lovely black tie affair offers cocktails, fine dining, live music and a live and silent auction. A wine pull that gives attendees an opportunity to purchase  fine wines donated from the cellars of top wine connoisseurs will also be an attraction at the night’s event.

Here’s a bit about last year’s event from HeartBeats Gala, “The black-tie soiree was held February 28th at the luxurious Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas. Guests entered into the foyer of the Chantilly ballroom, reminiscent of the Moulin Rouge, to bid on wine through the wine pull and hundreds of silent auction items. The funds raised from this event support L4Z’s mission of raising awareness of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) in youth, donating automated external defibrillators (AED)s to youth-based organizations, and promoting youth heart screenings. Inside the ballroom, Fox 4 sports anchor Mike Doocy was the evening’s emcee, as guests enjoyed a gourmet dinner accompanied by Arthur Murray ballroom dancers and bid for coveted live auction items. The evening was complete with dancing to the irresistible beats of Limelight.”

As a thank you, the HeartBeats Gala hosts about 1,000 business and community leaders, physicians and members of the medical community and strong L4Z supporters.

All proceeds from the event go to Living for Zachary.


When: Saturday, February 13, 6 p.m.–midnight

Where: Hilton Anatole Hotel, 2201 N. Stemmons Fwy., Dallas, Texas 75207

Cost: Sponsor, donate or buy admission here.

Colbea Smith

Colbea Smith is a young professional who grew up in Plano and loves the community she will always consider “home”. She is a proud alumna of Texas State University – Go Bobcats! – who spent most...