Cosmopolitan Connections: “The Mend a Heart – Silent Bachelorette Auction Event!”
By Joe Buda, Editor-in-Chief
Photos by Roger Bennett
Melissa Arias and Yvette Brown
Yvette Brown’s Cosmopolitan Connections presented “The Mend a Heart – Silent Bachelorette Auction Event!” on May 17 at Bellagio’s Lili Bar and Lounge.
This event raised money for Mend-A-Heart, an organization with the goal of helping those with heart conditions to pay their medical bills.
According to Melissa Arias, she founded the Mend-A-Heart organization after her brother, Tom Stemmle, became ill with heart failure when he was 25 years old.
A little over one year ago Tom was working on a ship on the Great Lakes while enlisted in the Merchant Marines. He experienced chest pains.
“I pushed it away and kept working,” recalled Tom.
After almost collapsing, he sought medical attention. The Doctors thought he had pneumonia or bronchitis and took an X-Ray.
The results of the X-Ray surprised the Doctors: Tom’s heart was three times larger than it should be.
He was airlifted to the University of Michigan Medical Center. According to Tom, tests showed he had only five percent of his heart function.
“I couldn’t make it up one flight of stairs,” added Tom.
Tom was informed that he had a six month window to improve and he started rehabilitation.
His heart function is now up to 20 percent.
“I am very fortunate to be alive,” Tom added. “My goal is to run a 5K in Vegas.”
Doctors have also recommended that Tom go to Cedar Sinai and get on the transplant list.
“It means so much to me that they (the bachelorettes) are doing this,” continued Tom.
The event, which featured a silent auction of three beautiful women, came about after Melissa became friends with Yvette Brown after meeting her at another Cosmopolitan Connections event.
According to Yvette, founder of Cosmopolitan Connections, “When people come to my networking events, I get to know everybody.”
Yvette added, “I see how I can help them (event attendees) and work with them.”
“It’s all about giving back and supporting local charities,” continued Yvette.
Melissa enjoyed working with Yvette on the event. “Yvette is such an amazing networker,” Melissa noted. “And she’s gorgeous too.”
Miss Nevada International 2012 Kari Anderson, Jen Coop and Jessica Connell were the bachelorettes who participated in the auction. Kari first heard about the Mend-A-Heart organization from Melissa, who is also the Nevada State Pageant Director for the Miss International Pageant.
Kari is also a Registered Respiratory Therapist, so she sees a lot of congested heart failure cases.
“My goal is to raise as much money as possible,” Kari stated.
“There are situations at work where I cannot help very much,” Kari elaborated. “It is fulfilling to be able to help out.”
“I’m impressed that the bidding is so high,” Yvette stated enthusiastically. “People are charitable for a good cause.”
A bidding war added excitement to the evening as the auction came down to the last second.
At the end of the event, the auction raised $1,550.
For upcoming Cosmopolitan Connections events, please visit their Facebook page here: Cosmopolitan Connections Facebook.
Next up for Cosmopolitan Connections is the “Unleashed Swimwear Bikini Model Event” on Wednesday, May 23 at The Deuce Lounge. The Deuce Lounge is located inside Aria.