GREENSBORO, Ga. — The 2020 Heart & Soul Gala, which raises funds for St. Mary's Good Samaritan Hospital and was held on Saturday, Feb. 1, eclipsed all previous versions of the event, selling out the beautiful Ritz-Carlton Reynolds Lake Oconee and hosting the most successful live and silent auctions in the event's history. In addition, the community came together to contribute over $200,000 in sponsorships for the Gala, more than any previous Gala.

"We are absolutely delighted with the outpouring of support from our community," said Sherri Kerstetter, Gala Committee Chair. "We can't say 'thank you' enough to our partner and venue, the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds Lake Oconee, to our fantastic and generous sponsors, and to the nearly 400 people who came ready to have fun and support our local hospital. Our hearts are overflowing with gratitude!"

In particular, Kerstetter pointed to the live auction, the most successful ever at the Heart & Soul Gala, raising more than $70,000 alone.  Items in the live auction included:

  • The Perfect Blend, food and wine pairings for 20, selected and donated by Matt Garofalo of The Oconee Cellar
  • Under the Tuscan Sun, a seven-night trip to Italy donated by Leone Hinzman
  • A Cottage Affair, a boat tour, cocktail party and 5-course dinner at the home of interior designer Shane Meder, donated by Shane Meder of Black Sheep Interiors, Matt Garofalo of The Oconee Cellar, and Chef Cindy Lutini
  • Party Like a Rock Star, 2 tickets and 4-nights lodging to the four-night Warburton Tournament in California, donated by The Warburton Celebrity Tournament
  • Riezl's Feast for 40, an international feast for 40 in the winner's home, donated and presented by Riezl and Ted Baker of Luxury Lake Oconee Real Estate Group
  • Mexico is Always a Good Idea, six nights at the Vidanta Resort in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, donated by Ralph and Ginny Olson

In addition to the live auction, the black-tie event featured a huge silent auction, raffle for a unique pendant created and donated by Aurum Studios, dinner, and dancing. Final financial results are still being calculated, but look to be among the highest ever, according to Foundation Board Chair Louie Seabolt. All proceeds will go to the Expanding Technology, Elevating Care Capital Campaign to enhance technology, equipment and cardiovascular services at St. Mary's Good Samaritan Hospital.

"From St. Mary's very first day in Greene County, this community's support has been phenomenal," Seabolt said. "We are well on the way to raising the $3 million we need in order to bring state-of-the-art MRI and CT scanning and a dedicated cardiac stress lab to our community. Thank you to all of our sponsors and everyone who donated items and came to the Gala."

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