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Greenwich's Second Congregational Gala Raises $112,000 For Heart Care

From left, Kreg Gotschall of The Bronx, Jeremiah Patterson of Stamford and Arnold Stancell of Greenwich perform with the Just For Men’s Chorus in a tribute to Barry Manilow, a highlight of the 12th annual Second Congregational Church gala. Photo Credit: Contributed
Heart Care International board members gather at the church’s 12th annual gala. From left are Dr. Robert Michler of Riverside, Phyllis Jacob of Stamford, Ilda Lee of Greenwich, Sally Michler of Riverside, Susan Poland of Greenwich,and Chris Combe. Photo Credit: Contributed

GREENWICH, Conn. -- Greenwich's Second Congregational Church raised more than $112,000 for Heart Care International at its Valentine's Gala.

More than 100 people attended the Feb. 1 fundraiser. Second Congregational Church hosted the musical benefit for Heart Care International for the 12th consecutive year. HCI is a nonprofit life-saving organization.

The event featured a performance by the church’s Just for Men Chorus and a meal prepared and served by the Men’s Fellowship. The 16-voice chorus performed favorite Barry Manilow songs, including “Mandy,” “I Write the Songs,” “Can't Smile Without You,” “Copacabana,” and “Weekend in New England.”

Based in Greenwich, Heart Care International was founded by church member Dr. Robert Michler of Riverside with church sponsorship and is supported by many other church members.

Providing free surgical and medical care to children in developing countries, the organization has helped more than 1,100 children with heart disease and performed heart surgery on more than 800 children in Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Peru.

"Heart Care International is a real inspiration, and a great way for people in Greenwich to support lifesaving work around the world,” said the Rev. Maxwell Grant, senior minister of Second Congregational Church. “The success of the annual Valentine's dinner at our church shows that you don't need to be a medical professional to be part of this organization’s important work. In an annual tradition, volunteers come together to cook, serve, sing and donate to this worthy cause.”

Michler is surgeon-in-chief at Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine, as well as chairman of surgery and chairman of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery.

“As Heart Care International begins its 21st year of lifesaving heart surgery, we are so grateful for the remarkable generosity of the Second Congregational Church and the entire Greenwich community,” Michler said.

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