NEW YORK, NY – May 1, 2012 – The Eric De La Cruz Hope For Hearts Foundation raised more than $1,000 on Monday evening at an after-work charity mixer held at NYC’s 121 Fulton Street. The event was held to raise money for heart transplant candidates and families in need.

“There are more than 113,000 people in the United States waiting for a life-saving transplant and not enough registered organ donors,” said Hope For Hearts founder and MSNBC anchor Veronica De La Cruz. “For example, only 18% of those living in the state of New York are registered donors, yet the state has the largest population of those in need of a transplant.”

The Monday night event drew local supporters to 121 Fulton Street, the Financial District’s first gastropub, to celebrate April as National Donate Life Month. Aimed at increasing awareness and donor registration within the New York metropolitan area – where registration is especially low – the Foundation’s “Last Call” mixer offered attendees the opportunity to commit to organ donation. The Hope For Hearts Foundation partnered with the New York Organ Donor Network (Donate Life NY), who provided pens, buttons and registration forms so that guests could register at the event. The evening culminated in a raffle featuring prizes that included Chanel gift boxes, a Veuve Clicquot picnic box, a Stephen Colbert gift set, an iPod Shuffle, and a tour of NBC Studios at 30 Rock.

The benefit came at the end of National Donate Life Month, which the Foundation observed through its “April 10 Challenge” and organ donation information shared through social media. Throughout the month of April, the Foundation also encouraged supporters to create hope for those awaiting transplants by registering as organ donors through local registries accessible online.

About the Eric De La Cruz Hope For Hearts Foundation

The Hope For Hearts Foundation is a recognized 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance to transplant patients in need and offers awareness and education programs aimed at supporting those facing the challenge of obtaining a heart transplant. De La Cruz formed the Foundation in 2010 after the death of her younger brother, Eric, who suffered from severe dilated cardiomyopathy and was denied insurance coverage for a heart transplant due to his pre-existing condition. Eric De La Cruz passed away on July 4, 2009 while awaiting a heart transplant.

About Veronica De La Cruz

Veronica De La Cruz is an MSNBC anchor and one of the current hosts of NBC’s Early Today Show and MSNBC’s First Look. In addition to her role as an MSNBC anchor, De La Cruz is an active volunteer with groups promoting healthcare reform. Ms. De La Cruz’s full bio is available at MSNBC’S website and two recent MSNBC PSA’s on heart health can be viewed on the Foundation’s video page.

Those interested in learning more about the heart health and organ donation, as well as how to support the Eric De La Cruz Hope for Hearts Foundation, should visit the organization’s website at

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