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Throwback Hollywood glamour found itself right at home on the Wilmington Riverfront at the American Heart Association’s Heart Ball. Guests walked the red carpet, elbowed their way through paparazzi and clinked champagne flutes while Hollywood legends looked on. Shouts to whoever designed the Breakfast at Tiffany’s-themed table.
A star in his own right, Brian Atkins and his family had a frenzy of fans. Atkins, who once went into cardiac arrest and received 90-plus minutes of CPR from a fast-thinking bystander, is the handsome guy at the heart of the association’s national “Be the Beat” campaign to educate students about CPR. “Bystander CPR saved his life,” mom Becky Johnson said. “We need to get the word out about CPR to young people. The American Heart Association has so touched my heart, and I can’t thank them enough.” Brian’s dad, Brian Atkins Sr., turned out in a natty suit, was fresh from a stint in Dover getting trained as an emergency first responder. “I really need to pay it forward,” he said. “What [Brian] went through … I’m so proud of him. He’s just a good, laid-back kid.”
Speaking of laid-back, it doesn’t get any more chill than Jack Schreppler. When you can show up at a dinner gala without a table, wearing a tiger tail out of the back of your pants, I’m pretty sure you’ve made it. “My company is a big supporter of this event, and rightly so,” said Jack, Artesian Resources’ veep and general counsel. “They do good things. And it’s a fabulous night, with beautiful people.” The proud Princeton Tiger wore his black-and-orange to pay support to his alma mater.
Just before the dinner bell tolled, I caught sight of two gorgeous girls, one blonde and one brunette, both killing it in floor-length. Turns out they were twins Anastasia and Alexander Likanchuk, who had parents, Marla and John, in tow. The Likanchuks are serial Heart Ball attendees. “Heart support and awareness is just too important to everyone,” Marla Likanchuk said. “Last year’s event at Longwood was just exquisite, and this year topped it.”