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Biennial event raises funds for St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital

GREENSBORO, Ga. – June 7, 2019 – The Heart and Soul Gala organizing committee has announced that the 4th biennial dinner, dance and auction event will be held Feb. 1, 2020, at the Ritz-Carlton, Reynolds Lake Oconee. The Heart and Soul Gala is the biggest fundraiser for St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital.

2019 Heart and Soul Gala Committee members are, from left to right: Patty Dailey, Kim Cambias, Sherri Kerstetter, Riezl Baker, Jamie Lancaster, Shelly Pound, Shane Meder and Sharon Gorman. Not pictured: Dipti Steele, Christa Hyatt, Debbie Kent, Kristen Hill, Kris Hopkins, Jennifer Riddle, Jan Torsiglieri, and Cindy Jones.

Planning is officially underway as the group of community volunteers recently met at the Ritz-Carlton to kick-off the initial planning for the event.

“The community’s support for our Gala and our hospital is far beyond the norm for rural hospitals in Georgia and across the nation,” said Riezl Baker, Chair of the St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Foundation Board. “That support makes it possible for our local hospital to offer services, physicians, staff and technology that are rarely found in communities our size. It is truly an honor to work with all of our supporters and volunteers to make this happen.”

Since becoming part of St. Mary’s Health Care System in 2012, Good Samaritan Hospital has been honored with numerous awards for excellence, including recognition as Georgia’s first Remote Treatment Stroke Center, Georgia’s Small Hospital of the Year 2014, and Georgia’s Coverdell Champion Hospital of the Year for stroke care, very small hospital category, in 2016 and 2017.

The Gala is held every other year, alternating with the Heart and Soul Fashion Show and Luncheon. The 2018 Gala raised more than $200,000 and helped bring the InTouch Health Telemedicine Network to Good Samaritan Hospital. This high-tech system allows physicians at Good Sam to consult in real time with a specialist in another city. With the local physician and nurse assisting, the specialist can talk with the patient, conduct a virtual examination, review test results and images, even listen to the patient’s heartbeat, all through a portable bedside computer system.

“Technology such as the InTouch network allows more people in our community to stay in our local hospital when they need care,” Baker said. “It’s really wonderful, and it’s a demonstration that continuous fundraising is essential to keeping up with medical advances and ensuring that our hospital can deliver the sophisticated, high-quality care we need right here, close to home, today and for years to come.”

Tremendous fundraiser and a Lot of fun

The black-tie fundraiser will feature dinner and dancing with a live and silent auction. There will also be a Sponsor VIP Reception before the main event. Sponsorship opportunities soon will be available for individuals and businesses at the $25,000, $15,000, $10,000, $5,000, $2,500, and $1,000 levels.

“The Gala is a tremendous fundraiser, but it’s also a lot of fun,” said Gala committee co-chair Sherri Kerstetter. “We will have a fabulous dance band, dinner will be amazing, and people will just love our auction items. We think they will also love the comfort and convenience of our new paperless bidding platform. It’s going to be a great evening.”

“I want to extend our deepest thanks to our hard-working committee and to the volunteers who make the Gala outstanding,” said co-chair Dipti Steele. “Hosting this event is a labor of love, and our volunteers make every single aspect of it possible. They are wonderful.”

For more information about the Gala, please contact Emily Lewis at 706.389.3928 or email her at More information will be available on-line soon at

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