For the fifth year, the Bellmore-Merrick community gathered for Forever 9: The Robbie Levine Foundation’s annual Dealing with Hearts Gala.
The foundation, whose ultimate goal is to make automated external defibrillators mandatory pieces of equipment wherever children play sports, holds the gala annually. This year’s event took place on Feb. 7 at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury.
The evening included casino play for prizes, a silent auction, a buffet dinner and open bar. The $110 per-person admission price will benefit the foundation.
Forever 9 was founded to honor the memory of Robbie Levine, a 9-year-old Merokean who died suddenly on Sept. 27, 2005, when his heart stopped while he was running the bases during a Little League team practice. His parents, Jill and Craig Levine, created the Robbie Levine Foundation to ensure that no other parent, on the ball field or anywhere else, should have to undergo the horror that they faced.
The foundation fosters education and awareness of the importance of AEDs in treating sudden cardiac arrest, with a special focus on children.