People dancing at the heart gala

$650,000 raised for heart health

It was an elegant and unforgettable Valentine’s evening.

More than 600 community members came together for Spartanburg Regional Foundation’s inaugural Heart Gala – Welcome to Wonderland.

Held at the Spartanburg Marriott, attendees enjoyed great food, drinks, music, dancing and a live auction – all to promote heart health in the Upstate.

Sponsorships, ticket sales and other contributions raised $650,000 to benefit the Spartanburg Regional Heart Center. These proceeds will support new technology, specialized training, preventive screenings and community awareness programs. 

“The Spartanburg Regional Heart Center is nationally recognized for excellence, and we are proud to support the life-saving work of cardiologists, surgeons, nurses and other heart center team members,” said Kristy Caradori, executive director of the Foundation.

Among the live auction items were a week’s stay in the Outer Banks, tickets and car service to see Billy Joel in concert, a private flight and day trip to New Orleans, and a party for 50 guests at the FR8yard in downtown Spartanburg.

“The heart center is, of course, recognized right here in the Upstate, too, and that meant we had a terrific community response for the gala,” Caradori said. “We are so grateful for the many sponsors, volunteers and other supporters who made it a tremendous success.”

Before the auction got underway, event co-chairs Kathy Dunleavy and J. Sidney Fulmer, MD, took the stage to welcome attendees. They thanked supporters – including lead sponsors Valerie and Bill Barnet and Susu and George Dean Johnson – and shared personal stories highlighting the outstanding care provided by the Spartanburg Regional Heart Center.

Caradori presented Dr. Fulmer with a surprise recognition in honor of his leadership on the Foundation’s Heart Division board, his longtime advocacy of Spartanburg Regional and his role in the success of the Heart Gala.

The soon-to-be-renovated family space on the third floor of the Spartanburg Regional Heart Center will display a plaque recognizing Dr. Fulmer and his support for cardiac programs and services.

“We are so happy to recognize you in this way,” Caradori said, as the audience gave Dr. Fulmer a standing ovation.

Spartanburg Regional  CEO Bruce Holstien praised the talent and dedication of heart center caregivers and raised a toast in their honor.

“I have worked in a number of health systems and known excellent doctors, nurses, and technicians. I can tell you that we are truly blessed here in Spartanburg with tremendous talent,” Holstien said. “It is truly a world-class team.”

Your donations promote heart health by supporting technology upgrades, clinical training, community outreach, and assistance for patients facing financial hardship. Learn more.