2018 Heart & Soul Gala a phenomenal success
The 2018 Heart and Soul Gala fundraiser on Feb. 10 at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds Lake Oconee was a phenomenal success, raising a substantial amount for St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital.
Riezl Baker, Gala and Hospital Foundation Board Chair, welcomed everyone to the beautiful ballroom at The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds Lake Oconee. “Tonight is a celebration of your overwhelming support to help with the mission of St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital,” Baker said. “Since its opening four years ago, the hospital has transformed healthcare in our community and contributed to the local economy.”
The sold-out, black-tie event was an evening of dinner, dancing, and silent and live auctions.
“Proceeds from this evening will be used to continue to enhance the services at the hospital and allow us to keep up with the advances in medical technology,” said Rick Wolfert, Chairman of the St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Governance Board. Wolfert also acknowledged the presence of Montez Carter, CEO of St. Mary’s Health Care System, and introduced Tanya Adcock, new President of St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital.
One of the highlights of the evening was the live auction, hosted by Ted Baker, who roused the crowd and raised over $60,000 for the nine auction items. Award-winning interior designer Shane Meder of Black Sheep Interiors doubled his auction item as two attendees bid for it, making twice as much for the hospital. The item included a boat tour and gourmet wine dinner for 10 people at Meder’s lakefront home.
Gala committee member Dipti Steele and husband Gordon did the same thing and donated a one week stay at their gorgeous Belize home to two bidders. Long-time gala supporter Matt Garofalo, owner of The Oconee Cellar, was ecstatic that his donated auction item of food and wine pairing for 20 people raised twice as much from the previous gala year. The winning bidder was Jim Hyatt, whose wife Christa has been involved in the Gala for the past three years. The Hyatts realized the importance of having quality healthcare in the area after seeing their son persevere through medical school.
Riezl Baker applauded the gala committee for the months of planning and preparation to make the event a huge success.
“I am humbled to serve with these hardworking individuals who generously gave their time, resources and talents to have a successful event and raise money for our hospital,” said Baker. “In 2017, the hospital had 19,000 visits to the emergency room, over 140,000 ancillary services performed and 28,000 radiology services provided. These numbers alone represent why we are here tonight.”