Auction features art for Hearts

A love for art can benefit people with heart defects during the upcoming Hearts of Heroes Art Auction.

Hearts of Heroes, a support group for families of children with heart defects, is working with Marlin Art Inc. of Deer Park, N.Y., to supply the art and run the auction on April 16 in the Kahler Grand Hotel's Heritage Hall.

Some of the proceeds will support Hearts of Heroes programs, but most of the money will benefit Mayo Clinic heart research, said the group's founder Valerie Kiger.

"We have talked to some of the doctors at Mayo, and they've made arrangements so that we'll be able to make sure that the money goes directly for the project we think best fits with our mission, which is for congenital heart defect research," she said.

Bringing in an art supplier/auctioneer for the fundraiser may be a relatively uncommon way to do fundraisers around here, but Kiger sees some advantages.


"We thought it might be a little different, and it doesn't require us to go around and ask local business people to, once again, give something for a silent auction, since there are several events that use those already," she said.

The Kahler has donated the use of its Heritage Hall for the event, and Hearts of Heroes has purchased the refreshments.

Marlin works with many artists and art publishers to sell art in a variety of media, including original art, signed lithographs, serigraphs, etchings and sculpture. The Hearts of Heroes auction will have a wide variety to bid on, Kiger said.

She started the group in 2006 because her 6-year-old son Max has a heart defect. The group meets monthly at the Ronald McDonald House, oftentimes including a speaker and always providing time for families to hang out with each other.

"A lot of times, because of being at the (Ronald McDonald House), there might be one or two families who might come down to visit while their child's in the hospital. So it's really good to be able to meet them during those crisis times," Kiger said.

Also, Kiger and other members of the group make weekly visits to families in the hospital.

"So up in the cardiac ICU, we go and take care packages and try to visit with the families, if they're interested," she said. "So they can have somebody to talk to who's been there before."

Hearts of Heroes is hoping to attract 100 or 150 people to its auction, Kiger said.


"Hopefully, we can reach that. Either way, it will be lots of yummy hors d'oeuvres and a nice evening out," she said.

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