GALVESTON — UTMB Health will present the annual Black Tie & Boots Gala at 6:30 p.m. May 11 at Moody Gardens, 1 Hope Blvd.

The gala benefits the mission of the American Heart Association and will honor the Voice of Galveston, Vandy Anderson and support research and education efforts both on and off the island.

The evening will kick off at 6:30 p.m. with emcee V.J. Tramonte, while Donna Sollenberger, CEO of UTMB Health, greets guests as the 2013 event chair. Since 1975, $14.6 million have benefited Galveston scientists and physicians and supported lifesaving research programs focused on the mission of the American Heart Association — building healthier lives free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. UTMB Galveston scientists are currently receiving $1.2 million in research funding.

“The 2013 Black Tie & Boots Gala is truly a night to celebrate the efforts of the Galveston community coming together to support an amazing cause that has such a powerful impact right here on the island,”  Sollenberger said. “It will be an unforgettable mix of friends, fun and fabulous entertainment, all while raising much needed funds for research and awareness for heart disease and stroke.”

The mission will come to life that evening when featured guest survivor, 15-year-old Hailey Juneau and her family, share her amazing story of survival and hope, which began two years ago when Juneau was a healthy seventh-grader with no previous symptoms of heart disease.

Guests can bid on silent auction items during cocktail hour from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will enjoy an exciting live auction before dinner and dancing to tunes of The Line Up. For a full list of auction items, visit

The American Heart Association’s mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. In order to achieve this mission, funding for research and education programs is necessary. It is because of local events such as the Black Tie & Boots Gala that the American Heart Association gets closer to making the mission achievable.

The event will generate close to $200,000 for the American Heart Association with more than 350 attendees expected this year. Table sponsorships start at $2,500; tickets for the event are $200, along with corporate sponsorship opportunities.

For information, call 713-610-5000 or visit

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