The San Antonio Board of BKD Foundations Presents Annual Community Pride Award to AugustHeart

On October 27, 2015, Amanda Van Valkenburg, President, and Patricia Quintana-Perron, Chairman, of the San Antonio BKD Foundation presented Bart Koontz, Founder, and Holly Farmer, Program Director and Pam Velasco, Operations Director, of AugustHeart, with the San Antonio Board for the BKD Foundation’s annual Community PRIDE award. 
Quintana-Perron had this to say, “Each year we ask our employees to nominate a charity they believe should be the recipient of our $10,000 award and to provide the committee with an example of how the charity helps and how they exhibit our PRIDE values.  Our PRIDE values encompass Passion, Respect, Integrity, Discipline and Excellence.”  After the nominees were identified, each charity’s representative visited with BKD personnel so that they could learn firsthand about each organization’s mission.  Afterwards, the employees voted and AugustHeart was selected based on the nomination which identified AugustHeart’s dedication to do all it can to make free heart screenings more accessible to teens because they know lives can be saved with a simple 20-minute heart screening!  AugustHeart has successfully implemented a community-wide effort involving a team of volunteers. These include board certified cardiologists, sonographers, technicians and area high school athletic programs through partnerships with Baptist Health System, Christus Santa Rosa Health System, Methodist Healthcare System, University Health System and UT Medicine San Antonio.  Joined by the professional expertise and dedication of its partners, AugustHeart is committed to the prevention of tragic and unnecessary teen deaths caused by undiagnosed heart conditions. 

Nancy Ozuna, a BKD Partner who nominated AugustHeart for the award, said, “AugustHeart is very near and dear to my heart being the mom of an athlete.  AugustHeart helped diagnosis heart conditions in two of my son’s friends, both of whom had procedures to correct the problem and both of whom are now able to continue to play sports.”

Koontz, Farmer and Velasco accepted a custom-made glass art work (Glen Andrews Studio:  Caliente Hot Glass) award and a check for $10,000.  Bart Koontz stated, “We appreciate your generous financial support. The help from charitable-minded organizations like BKD, as well as cardiologists, technicians and many volunteers ensures AugustHeart reaches more and more youth. We keep a steady focus on running a streamlined and efficient screening program that is accessible to all teenagers and is free of charge. Your generous contribution to AugustHeart is an invaluable investment in saving lives. Thank you for being part of our mission.”

In October of 2008, August Koontz, an active young athlete from San Antonio died in his sleep at the age of 18. His death was the result of sudden cardiac arrest, brought about by a genetic heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) which causes a thickening of the heart wall and can lead to obstruction of blood flow and an erratic heartbeat.

In May 2011 Doré and Bart Koontz launched AugustHeart, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to providing free heart screenings to local teenagers.

About BKD Foundation
The BKD Foundation, which is the firm’s charitable arm, has raised and distributed more than $6.2 million to qualifying 501 (c)(3) organizations since February 2000.  For many not-for-profit organizations, both financial and volunteer assistance is critical. 

The San Antonio charitable arm of the BKD Foundation is funded and administered by the partners and employees of the San Antonio office of BKD, LLP, CPAs & Advisors.  The San Antonio BKD Foundation desires to enrich the San Antonio communities it serves with financial support and the gift of time from BKD volunteers.  Its purpose is to aid, support, maintain and assist by gift, donation or otherwise, established charitable, scientific, educational and philanthropic institutions which are qualified under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRC of 1986.