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The Marriott Hotel & Convention Center in Coralville, Iowa, was the site of this year’s Saving Grace supporter benefit. Departing from past years, a new fun formula of tasting stations, musical entertainment, seated dessert , lively emcees, and even a comedian rounded out the serious presentations, pledge drive, and fundraising auctions. Awareness spread throughout the local community with the involvement of local companies, celebrities, and members of the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics. Hope spread throughout the room with stories of advances made in helping women locally at the University of Iowa. The result was a really fun, engaging event that attracted at least 350 people and exposed new individuals, companies and organizations to the cause.
The local community and Foundation volunteers were generous in bringing everything together. Eighteen vendors set up food and beverage tasting stations, feeding us well; 74 silent auction items were donated; and 4 live auction items were featured (dinner for 8, a large tailgating package to the Iowa versus Michigan game on November 23, a one-week vacation in the Cayman Islands, and a new Memorial and Survivor quilt lovingly made by Rosemary Jorden Best with quilt squares made and donated by families who have suffered a loss to or been impacted by preeclampsia). We grossed $40,000 from event ticket sales, donations, pledges, sponsorships, and auctions.
A great big thank you goes to this year’s Saving Grace Committee—Event Co-Chairs: John and Brenda Warner, and Drs. Mark and Donna Santillan; Event Committee Members: Carrie Brus, Kelli Carlson, Stephanie Hamilton, Shawn Harmsen, Danielle Hiller, Brandy Huesmann, Mary Kenyon, Melody Kramer, Mary Mann, Lori Moughler, Rich Moughler, Barb Poell, Trisha Poole, Dorothy Rust, Zach Sanderson, and Cindy Volquardsen; and the many other wonderful volunteers that helped the day and evening of our event.
Thanks to all who participated in our program and to all event sponsors, food and beverage vendors, auction donors, celebrities, media, and guests. Our five corporate sponsors were the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center, University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, Advanced Prenatal Therapeutics, Gina’s BMW Motorcycles, and Siemen’s. Our featured entertainers were Nova Singers, M. Jarvey Jazz, and John Bush Comedy. Our lively emcees were Ashley Hinson of KCRG-TV9 and Kirby Winn of the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center.
A photo gallery of the event can be found on Facebook.
Note: Next year's Saving Grace - A Night of Hope will be in Minneapolis, MN and chaired by Jaime Nolan and Kristy Heer. The event will be held in September, date to be announced.
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