HEART reaches out to Africa

By: Megan Sanders Journal Correspondent
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Health Education Africa Resource Team (Heart) presents a fundraiser and information session at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 23 at the Auburn Honda Showroom. Laura Van Auker said Sunday’s event is to help make people aware of HEART, an organization started by Vickie Winkler that provides health education in Africa. “It’s a fundraiser and (it) helps people understand what the organization does,” Van Auker said. Ralph and Linda Hammer will be playing with their Blue Rhythm Jazz band as the main entertainment. Before them Barbara Beland will be playing the jazz keyboard with her group Wildberry Jam. There also will be some local dancers at the show performing swing dancing. There will be a silent auction as well as hors d’oeuvres, a dessert bar and a no-host bar. “Rotary is going to be our bartenders,” Van Auker said. Van Auker said Ralph Hammer first learned about the program through Rotary. “We had Rotary support in Africa on programs,” Van Auker said. She also said the local Soroptimist group has been very supportive as well. HEART has been recognized on a national level as well. After the silent auction there will be a short talk with, Winkler the founder. One of the programs that they are most proud of is the Freedom for Girls program in Kenya. This program focuses on prevention and Van Auker said it allows the girls to stay in school. “The backbone of the organization is still local teams that come from the U.S. to support Africa,” Van Auker said. Van Auker said the event will be a celebration if HEART’s 10 years in the area and of the Cooper family's generosity at Auburn Honda. “We are looking for people to have a good time and to learn more about the organization,” Van Auker said. Megan Sanders can be reached at or comment at ---------- Tickets for the event are $25 and can be purchased in advance through the HEART office, through Lifestyle Real Estate, or at Auburn Honda at the cashier. Tickets also can be purchased at the door.