It’s not often you attend a charity event that transports you to Venice, Italy. With the help of vivacious circus performers and elaborate Venetian carnivals masks, the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel was dramatically transformed for an evening of fundraising and frivolity.

As guests entered the Rocky Mountain Adventist Healthcare Foundation’s 34th Heart of Hearts Gala, they were warmly greeted by volunteers and eccentric performers from Bella Luna Cirque. Instantly, Denver’s chilly weather was forgotten. Dancers twirled around the room, entertaining the guests with their whimsical charm. A gondolier manned his rowing boat, while couples and friends posed for photos. And a stunning masked lady stood tall above everyone, balancing on stilts and waving to the crowd.

After cocktail hour and the silent auction, guests were invited to enter the main ballroom. The room was jaw dropping gorgeous. Everywhere you turned there were captivating performers and decor. Near the stage, dancers were suspended on hula hoops. Their grace was mesmerizing. White birds flew around the room on the tall sticks carried by masked Venetians. The atmosphere was simply magical, and guests couldn’t help but pull out their phones to capture the scene.

The Henry M. Porter Award was given to Jim Boyle, President and CEO of Summit Leadership Solutions and former CEO of Porter Adventist Hospital. Boyle received this award for his continuous generosity to the hospital foundations and the community. He specializes in leadership development, board development and executive coaching. The Henry M. Porter Award is named for Henry M. Porter, the original philanthropic donor to Porter Hospital.

Proceeds from the Heart of Hearts Gala support women’s breast cancer departments within Avista, Castle Rock, Littleton, Parker and Porter Adventist Hospitals. Over $66,000 was raised with the evening’s paddle raiser. This total will  be used to provide free  mammograms and breast cancer care for under served individuals in the community.

The generosity of sponsors and individual donors is greatly appreciated, as one in eight women will develop breast cancer during their lifetime and one in 1,000 men will face a diagnosis. Donations will fuel support groups, treatment options and integrative therapies.

If you would like to learn more about Rocky Mountain Adventist Healthcare Foundation and make a donation, please visit www.rmahf.org.