Friday night fundraiser at SoHo’s Porsche Designs brings stars Cambridge, Conde, Potter together with supporters for two good causes

Event Co-Hosts Dean Obeidallah and Veronica De La CruzNEW YORK, NY – November 11, 2012 – Acclaimed operatic soprano Alyson Cambridge, Cuban roots recording artist Jose Conde, and noted health care advocate Wendell Potter joined a downtown crowd of supporters and philanthropists Friday night at New York City’s Porsche Design for the Eric De La Cruz Hope For Hearts Foundation’s Autumn Fundraiser. The event raised money for heart transplant patients in need as well as the American Red Cross’ efforts to provide relief to those across the region suffering from Hurricane Sandy.

Themed “New York: We’re All In This Together,” the event featured speeches and entertainment as well as a charity raffle and silent auction. The evening was co-hosted by Comedy Central star, CNN contributor and Huffington Post political blogger Dean Obeidallah (pictured left) and television news anchor Veronica De La Cruz (pictured left), who founded Hope For Hearts in 2010 after the death of her brother, Eric.

“This event fosters a greater sense of community with our patients, families, and friends while recognizing the efforts of those who works tirelessly to support the Foundation’s mission,” stated De La Cruz.  “We thank everyone who participated in Hope For Hearts Autumn Fundraiser and are so happy to have raised significant funds that will help patients and families facing the overwhelming costs related to receiving a heart transplant.”

SoHo’s Porsche Design was the setting for the inspirational fundraiser. A cadre of guests from the celebrity, fashion, music, and media worlds turned out to attend the dinner event and support those affected by Hurricane Sandy. The evening’s Latin-themed festivities began with a cocktail hour sponsored by Veev Vita Frute and Ciroc Vodka. Comedian Dean Obeidallah kept the crowd laughing throughout the evening as co-host and guests enjoyed a buffet dinner featuring dishes from celebrity chefs. Dinner was followed by live performances from the Cuban-centric guitarist Jose Conde, internationally renowned lyric soprano, Alyson Cambridge (pictured right) and the well-known flamenco/tango dancer, ZyriaB.

Alyson Cambridge sings at the Hope For Hearts Fundraiser“I’m honored that so many talented people chose to participate in the Hope For Hearts Fundraiser this year,” said De La Cruz. “It’s been gratifying to share with others the important work the Foundation does and I know the results from this event will help many patients, as well as many of those suffering in the aftermath of the recent storm.”

In the days after Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast, De La Cruz quickly refocused the event to include support for those affected by the historic storm. She added, “We are so grateful for the support and hard work of so many people in making the Autumn Fundraiser a tremendous success. We would like to thank the co-hosts, our amazing event host committee, and silent auction donors for their time and generosity.”

De La Cruz also took the podium to offer the moving, personal story behind the formation of the non-profit and lead into the night’s guest speaker, Wendell Potter (pictured below), who was introduced by fellow news analyst, Joy Ann Reid (pictured below).

MSNBC's Joy Ann Ried and health care advocate Wendell PotterPotter, a 20-year insurance industry veteran who became an outspoken critic of industry abuses during the national debate over health care reform. Potter shared his insight into the future of health care while offering the personal stories which motivated him to speak out and advocate for the uninsured and underinsured.

Adding to the excitement of the evening was a silent auction that featured a trip to Thailand, tickets to The Jimmy Fallon Show and other items graciously donated by supporters. Guests also had an opportunity to pick up raffle prizes and gift bag items from numerous supporting organizations such as: Exhale Spa, Glow Jobs, Saks Fifth Avenue, Brio Restaurant, Johnny Utah’s, Kings Cross, Whitman’s, Empanada Mama, Judith Ripka, Chanel, Sweeping Beauty, Intermix, Sports Club LA, House of Jai, Pop Chips, Suga Tooth, Birch Coffee, Head Massage, Dr. Harvey Jay, and Porsche Design.

“On behalf of the Foundation and the heart transplant community, as well as the American Red Cross, I would like to thank the individual attendees, corporate sponsors and hard-working volunteers for their generosity,” stated De La Cruz. Sponsors included: Bagatelle, Brio NYC, Ciroc, Glow Jobs, Porsche Design, Saks Fifth Avenue, Steinway & Sons, Todd English’s Olives, and Veev Vita Frute.

About the Eric De La Cruz Hope For Hearts Foundation

The Eric De La Cruz Hope for Hearts Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides financial assistance, educational resources and advocacy for heart transplant patients. Founded by TV journalist Veronica De La Cruz in honor of her brother Eric, the Foundation exists to fulfill his wish that no heart transplant patient would ever again have to suffer because of a lack of insurance or the inability to pay for life-saving medical treatment.

If you would like to learn more about the Eric De La Cruz Hope For Hearts Foundation, please visit the organization’s website at

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For a PDF version of this press release, please click here.