Attendees opened their hearts — and wallets — recently at the American Heart Association's Côtes du Coeur gala, which raised a record $3.4 million for cardiovascular and stroke research.
Also impressive? Of that staggering total, $850,000 was given that night at the Hilton Anatole, meaning that more than 1,100 guests embraced the gala's spirit and contributed more than ever before in the AHA's 24-year history.
Those charitable folks also got to enjoy dishes by some of the city's top chefs, including Garth Blackburn, John Tesar, Dean Fearing, Kent Rathbun, Anita Hirsch, Scott Gottlich and lead chef Richard Chamberlain. More than 30 international wineries kept the vino flowing — which may or may not have helped with the lucrative live and silent auctions.
The evening's Open Your Heart appeal certainly tugged at the heartstrings. Young Ella Turner lost her sister to heart disease when Ella was only 5 years old, and since then she has raised more than $40,000 for the American Heart Association through the Jump Rope For Heart program. Ella wants to be a chef when she grows up, so she was thrilled when the Côtes du Coeur chefs presented her with a custom chef jacket.
Chaired by Kate Rose Marquez and executive leadership team chair Rick Allen, this year's Côtes du Coeur has significantly upped the $27 million total raised by the event during the last two decades.