Volume 15, Issue 76  |  September 22, 2023SubscribeAdvertise

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Laguna’s Heartfelt founder Holly Morrell competes in Amazon Prime reality TV series

The founder of local heart-screening nonprofit Heartfelt, Holly Morrell, has been tapped to compete in an Amazon Prime reality TV series about social entrepreneurs whose mission is to improve society. 

Filmed in Montreal, The Social Movement will follow Morrell and her team of 10 entrepreneurs, CEOs, and investors from around the world with whom she’s been matched to solve the major issue of access to affordable healthcare. Her team will create a broad, society-altering business strategy for Heartfelt and be challenged to overcome a series of trials and pitching rounds.

“This unique new Amazon Prime show could catapult Heartfelt to a global level that could help save even more lives through futuristic new technologies I have only been able to dream of. To work with a team of experts in their fields to advance the ability to prevent needless health tragedies is a delicious opportunity!” Morrell said prior to her trip to Montreal.

Heartfelt’s competitors in the show will be three other teams of ten, each working together to solve three equally important socioeconomic issues: wage inequality, global warming, and hunger and homelessness. The winning team chosen by a panel of high-profile judges will win funding and an invitation to return for season two of The Social Movement. 

Lagunas Heartfelt closeup

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Holly Morrell, founder of Laguna’s nonprofit Heartfelt

What compelled her to do this work? “I started offering community cardiac screenings in 1999. After losing six of my own family members to a genetic heart condition, and continually hearing of other families who had lost loved ones to sudden cardiac death, I decided to begin to work to save lives.”

Morrell spent the week of July 1 in Montreal to meet and strategize with and advance her team as they were being filmed for The Social Movement. The show will be seen in the summer of 2020 on Amazon Prime in the US, Canada, United Kingdom, Japan, France, Germany, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates. Its creator and executive producer is Chris LaVoie.

Her team consisted of: Team Leader: Julie Lyle – former CMO of Walmart/Barnes & Noble – USA, Co-Team Leader: Patrick St-Louis – Canada, additional team members: Saira Demmer – England, Sahiqa Bennet – Dubai, Briar Prestige – Dubai, Muhammad Chbib – Dubai, Larry Kihlstadius – USA –  Georgia, Ian LaJoie – Canada, Sara Blain – USA – Florida, and Rachel Vancelette – USA – NYC. 

After returning from Montreal, Morrell said, “Participating in The Social Movement, produced by Chris LaVoie, for Amazon Prime, was an experience of a lifetime and absolutely life-changing. Meeting and working with my Heartfelt Team was awe-inspiring! Witnessing all the brilliant minds, working together, to solve a social issue, was an education unlike anything I have ever experienced.” 

Lagunas Heartfelt on stage

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Morrell with her team during filming

“Being selected as one of only four nonprofits to participate in a life-changing project was the first overwhelming blessing. My heart is full of gratitude to Chris for the incredible opportunity. He is a wonderful human being with spectacular vision. I am tremendously appreciative of the time he spent with me, and the respectful way he gently urged me to step out of my comfort zone and reach for the stars. 

“I am deep in reflection of what can only be described as a dream-like week in Montreal. It speaks volumes that the ‘Amazon Prime’ bit isn’t even the most rewarding part of the experience: It’s frosting on the proverbial cake for sure, but not the most meaningful.” 

She also couldn’t say enough about how everyone involved touched her heart in a very unexpected way. “I know we have created forever friendships, and these relationships are what I cherish most.”

Morrell also acknowledges LaVoie’s sincere interest in her mission, beyond the filming. “I am filled with excitement for when we meet up again and start making huge strides in saving more lives from sudden cardiac arrest.”

Lagunas Hearfelt team

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Heartfelt Team

On Monday, August 19, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., there will be a cardiac screening at Laguna Beach High School (625 Park Ave) in the North Gym. The screening is open to the public – adults and kids ages five and up. The event is sponsored by the Laguna Beach High School Athletic Boosters. To register, go to website listed below.

Heartfelt is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives through early detection, education, and increased public awareness about Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA). SCA is a life-threatening emergency that occurs when the heart suddenly stops beating. It strikes people of all ages who may seem to be healthy, even children and teens, especially young athletes. In the last 20 years, Heartfelt has saved hundreds of lives and performed more than 50,000 screenings at schools and community centers throughout Southern California. 

For more information, go to heartfeltcardiacprojects.org.

Shaena Stabler, President & CEO - Shaena@StuNewsLaguna.com

Lana Johnson, Editor - Lana@StuNewsLaguna.com

Tom Johnson, Publisher - Tom@StuNewsLaguna.com

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

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Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Dennis McTighe, Marrie Stone, Sara Hall, Suzie Harrison and Theresa Keegan are our writers and/or columnists.

In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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