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Hearts and Hands Gala this weekend

Valentine's event supports community

POSTED: February 8, 2013 12:28 a.m.

Forsyth County Community Connection will hold its third annual Hearts and Hands Gala from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center.

Outgoing executive director Nicole Morgan said the event is a good way to have an early Valentine’s Day celebration.

“It’s a fun evening of great food, good friends and charitable giving,” said Morgan, who’s been working on a partial contract for the past couple of months as she transitions to a new position with the Georgia Center for Nonprofits in Atlanta.

“This event is a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day and show love to the community.”

Community Connection works to match other nonprofit groups and agencies in the county with volunteers and services. Morgan said she hopes the event will raise at least $20,000 for the organization.

It is black-tie optional and will include gourmet food and wine pairings, dancing and a silent auction.

Patricia Choquette, connections manager with the organization, said the silent auction will offer a range of items.

“We have a beach house rental, [restaurants] have donated catering,” she said. “A kind of unique one is the Cumming Harvest, they’ve given a membership and Cedar Hill [Enrichment Center] has given their retreat for one night.”

There will also be a “giving tree” in which attendees can sign up to donate items to various nonprofits that work with Community Connection, Choquette said.

“Because we partner with a number of organizations like Mentor Me [North Georgia], Bald Ridge Lodge and [Supporting Adoption and Foster Families Together], we have a giving tree with items they need,” she said. “They’re just small items that people can choose and then bring to them, like office supplies, gift cards or gas cards.

“So if they couldn’t afford to bid on some of the silent auction items, at least they can contribute in smaller ways that help tremendously.”

Tickets to the Hearts and Hands Gala are $90 for individuals, $175 for couples, or $850 for a table of 10.

Choquette said about 120 people have registered to attend so far.

“We’d love to have as many as we can,” she said, noting that the evening is always fun.

“It’s formal, but it’s not stuffy. People always have a great time.” 


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