Hearts at Large Wine Tasting Raises over $400

While the heart health benefits of drinking wine are still being researched, Hearts at Large turned wine into hundreds of dollars in donations at its most recent fundraising event.

On a mid-summer evening, in the full banquet hall at Farmington Gardens, community members sipped, sampled and bought bottles of wine and beer from local wineries and vendors. The topic on everyone’s mind – aside from the drinks and appetizers – was organ donation.

That June, 3rd evening, in a room full of friends and supporters, Hearts at Large founder Andrew Jones looked like the healthiest guy in the room: he’d been back in the gym for months, getting used to training with a small battery pack on his back. In fact, Andrew had made such an impression as a new trainer that some of his clients from Malibu Fitness attended the wine tasting. The gym, along with Valley Wine of Farmington, sponsored the event. Guests tasted and bought wine at special pricing, totaling over $400 in proceeds benefiting Hearts at Large.

As much of the world was about to learn, Andrew was mingling and networking without a beating heart in his chest. Like most people who are new to Andrew’s story, guests were mesmerized at the amount of energy he had that night. The narrative of an organ transplant candidate is the opposite of Andrew’s experience, and is often illustrated with before and after photos – a healthy person turned miserable and bedridden with the onset of chronic illness. This is the sad reality of many patients awaiting a transplant, but as Andrew reminds us, the need for organ donation knows no bounds: chronic illness happens across lines of race, age, class and all other demographics.

For this reason, organ donation must happen across those lines as well. This is the mission of Hearts at Large – one that was furthered that night, as Andrew walked among community members, family and friends. The proceeds of this event totaled $420, which will help achieve the ultimate goals of Hearts at Large: to spread awareness about organ donation and get more people registered to give the ultimate gift.

To learn more about Hearts at Large, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To donate, visit HeartsAtLarge.org.