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Fundraiser planned for pediatric ambulance
Event is Aug. 25 at RBM-North
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Forsyth County News

Mercedes-Benz fans will have a chance to check out some new models while helping a good cause next week.

RBM-North, an authorized Mercedes-Benz dealership on McFarland Parkway, will hold its 2012 Model Year Gala at 7 p.m. Aug. 25.

Mandy White, chairwoman of the event, said proceeds will go to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, which is raising money to buy a pediatric ambulance for its Forsyth County campus.

Hospital leaders have been fundraising since the location on Peachtree Parkway opened in June. The vehicle has been described by some as a "rolling emergency room and ICU" for children and teens.

"It’s more than just an ambulance," said White, who is also chairwoman of the CHOA Milton Friends group, which provides support to the hospital network through volunteerism, fundraising and special service projects.

White said she and other organizers of the RBM-North event felt it was an appropriate venue to raise funds for the ambulance, which when fully outfitted will cost about $700,000.

"This is kind of like one type of automobile giving back to another automobile," she said.

White said the event, which is free, will feature the unveiling of four 2012 Mercedes-Benz models, as well as "bites" from a number of area restaurants and wine samplings.

There will also be live music, door prizes and live and silent auctions.

White said among the auction items are trips to Vail, Colo., and Costa Rica, a PGA Masters package, Atlanta Falcons tickets and rounds of golf.

Also available are personal training for a year, car washes, spa packages and horseback riding lessons.

White is hoping for a large turnout. She said about 200 people have registered online so far.

"I think we’ll have about 500," she said. "We’d love to raise $500,000, that’s the figure I have in my head. But if we did $200,000, we’d consider it a very successful event."

White said she wants to do all she can to give back to Children’s due to the care her two daughters received during separate incidents.

She and her family spent about eight days at Children’s Scottish-Rite facility four years ago when her oldest almost died from a staph infection.

Earlier this year, the family spent another eight days at a Children’s facility after her younger daughter’s appendix ruptured.

"If I could bottle the attitude and atmosphere and overall care at Children’s, the world would be a better place," she said.