The third annual Hearts and Hands Gala in support of Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities (ARMHC) will take place Saturday, October 29, at 7 p.m. at the Georgia Aquarium. WSB-TV's David Chandley will host the event, and Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Natasha Bedingfield will perform. There will also be live and silent auctions.
The event's proceeds will support the operations of Atlanta's two Ronald McDonald Houses, which provide temporary housing and support services to more than 2,000 families of critically ill and injured children. In 32 years, the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities (ARMHC) have served more than 32,000 families.
ARMHC supports programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children. The cornerstone program, the Atlanta Ronald McDonald Houses, began in 1979 when the first Atlanta house opened to serve children receiving medical treatment at Atlanta hospitals.
One of the highlights of the event will be a performance by Natasha Bedingfield. Since the release of her debut album, Unwritten, in 2006, the singer has sold more than 10 million singles and albums worldwide. In 2004, "These Words" became her first UK No. 1 single. It was followed by worldwide smash hit "Unwritten," which was certified double platinum and became the most-played track by U.S. pop radio stations in 2006. The song earned the artist her first Grammy nomination, for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, and led to her being the first British female artist in 20 years to score a No.1 single on the U.S. Billboard pop chart. Bedingfield’s success continued with the release of her sophomore album, Pocketful of Sunshine, which included the hits "Love Like This," with Sean Kingston, and "Pocket Full of Sunshine," which has sold nearly 3 million copies to date. Bedingfield is currently on tour in support of her third album, "Strip Me."
Guests will be in good hands throughout the evening with WSB-TV's David Chandley. An AMS certified meteorologist, Chandley appears on Channel 2 Action News at 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and is involved in team coverage whenever severe weather breaks. He joined the Action News team in November 1988. He has received numerous awards, including three Southeast Emmys and nominations for 11 more. David has also received the Associated Press Best Weather Reporting Award 10 times, most recently in 2010.
Helping get this fundraiser going is event chair Javier Goizueta, vice president of The Coca-Cola Company and president of the global McDonald's Division. Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, is honorary chair. Tony Conway, CEO and founder of Atlanta-based catering company A Legendary Event, is this year's honorary patron chair.
"The Coca-Cola Company is proud and honored to present this third annual event to support such an important cause," Goizueta says. "Each year the support from the community continues to grow, and we look forward to raising even more funds to help deserving families."
"Without the Ronald McDonald House many sick kids and their families would have nowhere else to turn," says Linda M. Morris, president and CEO of ARMHC. "The support from this event will allow us to provide a home away from home for families facing tremendous hardships."
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