Cancer Foundation for New Mexico's Virtual Sweetheart Auction
Candy heart with "Sweet heart"

The Cancer Foundation for New Mexico’s 16th Annual Sweetheart Auction has moved from a one-evening, in-person event to a week-long virtual fundraiser. While the rest of the event will be online, the week’s festivities culminate on February 14 with a live drawing of the winning Dream Vacation Raffle ticket on the portal of the Cancer Foundation for New Mexico offices in Santa Fe. Donations for the auction include 425 lots ranging in price from $15 to $45,000. There are also 13 group bidding opportunities for experiences suitable for small groups that want to bid as a team.

The event organizers say in a press release, “The virtual format expands the audience from an essentially local event to a world-wide happening. Participation is open to all who can log onto a computer. VIP registration opens on January 21, 2021, at 6 a.m. (MST). For a cost of a $100 admission fee, VIPs will have exclusive advance bidding and buy-it-now options for 48 hours beginning on February 6, 2021 at 6 a.m. (MST). On February 8, 2021 at 6 a.m. (MST), the general public may register free of charge to join the auction bidding. VIP access continues along with the general public access through February 11, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. (MST), when the auction will officially close.”

Virtual Gala

Of course, there is a virtual gala, too! On Thursday, February 11, 2021, from 6 – 6:45 p.m., log in to enjoy a night of entertainment:

  • A mission video including patient and provider stories,
  • Sponsored tribute and memorial videos,
  • A paddle-raiser led by Richard Lampert, Owner of Zaplin Lampert Gallery on Canyon Road, who will once again serve as Master of Ceremonies,
  • Celebrity tributes offered by Ali MacGraw, Academy Award-nominated Actress, Shirley MacLaine, Academy Award-winning Actress and Noted Author, and Bette Ridgeway, Leonardo da Vinci Prize-winning Artist and Cancer Survivor.
  • Jazz Pianist Bert Dalton, Music Director of the National Dance Institute of New Mexico and Leader of the Bert Dalton Trio; Susan Graham, Internationally-acclaimed Mezzo-soprano; Debra Ayers, Piano and Co-Founder of Montage Music Society; America’s Got Talent’s Branden James, Tenor and Duo Partner James Clark, Cello; Jessica Rivera, Grammy-Award®-winning Soprano and Cancer Survivor; and Mark Carver, Piano offer exclusive performances created especially for Cancer Foundation for New Mexico patrons.

Heart Healthy Feast from Open Kitchen

While we can’t gather for a gala dinner, you can get a special meal and whip up the signature cocktail to enjoy while you stream! Hue-Chan Karels of Santa Fe’s Open Kitchen has created a special “Heart Healthy Feast” menu for Sweetheart Auction attendees to enjoy. The delectable four-course meal may be ordered directly on Open Kitchen’s website. For more information, contact Open Kitchen by phone 202-285-9840, or by e-mail [email protected]. Order deadline: Friday, February 5, 2021.

The cost per person is $65 (plus delivery) and 20% of the proceeds will be contributed to the Cancer Foundation for New Mexico. With selections to cater to everyone’s palate and dietary restrictions, ordering dinner from Open Kitchen will top off this special 16th Annual Sweetheart Auction.

16th Annual Sweetheart Auction Signature Cocktail

A rose-colored signature cocktail has been created by CFFNM patron and avocational mixologist, Steven Ovitsky, to cheer the participants in the Sweetheart Auction:

“Raspberry Romance”
2 ounces Vodka
1/2 ounce Cointreau or Triple Sec
1/2 ounce lemon juice
1.5 ounce Chambord

Add ingredients to a shaker. Fill with ice, shake vigorously, and strain into a glass

Dream Vacation Raffle

That special raffle being drawn on February 14? Here’s the scoop: The Dream Vacation Raffle, a popular annual event, continues in 2021. Raffle tickets are priced at $100 each, or four for $300, eight for $500, or 20 for $1,000. The raffle is restricted to 2,500 entrants. The winner may choose from four trips (Lake Louise, Canada; major European city; Mykonos, Greece; Broadway, New York) or select a $5,000 cash prize. All trips are open and available through December 2023. One winner will be selected in a public drawing on February 14, 2021, at noon on the portal of CFFNM’s offices (3005 S. St. Francis Drive, Santa Fe, NM 87505). Winner will be notified by phone and/or e-mail, and need NOT be present to win. For more details, or to purchase Raffle tickets, please visit the  Dream Vacation Raffle page on the website. Raffle ticket sales end February 11, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. (MST).

The 16th Annual Sweetheart Auction: A Week of Festivities!

Full Virtual Content Schedule – all available via computer at www.cffnm.org

February 6, 2021 beginning at 6 a.m. (MST)

  • Exclusive VIP advance bidding and buy-it-now option for those who register with a $100 VIP fee.  (VIP registration is available at www.cffnm.org.)
  • Dream Vacation Raffle ticket sales are ongoing on the website for everyone.

February 8, 2021 beginning at 6 a.m. (MST)

  • VIP access continues.
  • Open browsing and bidding for the general public begins.

February 11, 2021 at 6 – 6:45 p.m. (MST)

  • Gala video program including patient and provider stories, celebrity appearances and performances, honorary and memorial tributes, a paddle-raiser hosted by Richard Lampert, and a chat room (open until 9 p.m.).

February 11, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. (MST)

  • Silent auction closes.
  • Dream Vacation Raffle ticket sales end.

February 14, 2021 at noon (MST)

  • Live drawing of the winning Dream Vacation Raffle ticket on the portal of the Cancer Foundation for New Mexico offices (3005 S. St. Francis Drive, Santa Fe, New Mexico). Winner need NOT be present to claim his/her prize. Winner will be notified by e-mail and/or telephone.

About the Cancer Foundation for New Mexico:

Founded in 2003, the Cancer Foundation for New Mexico is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization which has as its mission “to help save lives by providing needed support to enable every northern New Mexican with cancer to access treatment in Santa Fe.” No patient who qualifies financially for our assistance has ever been turned away.

The Cancer Foundation for New Mexico is proud to report that 85% of every dollar spent is dedicated to patient services. In the past year, the Cancer Foundation for New Mexico accomplished the following with 2020 Sweetheart Auction Revenue:

  • Supported 28,841 patient visits*
  • Reimbursed 473,323 transportation miles
  • Provided 727 lodging nights
  • Supplied 1,372 grocery cards to enable patients to eat nutritionally while they are undergoing treatment
  • To all cancer patients, regardless of financial need, CFFNM offered support groups and volunteer hospitality during treatment

*Please note: Due to COVID-19 protocols, telehealth visits have supplemented in-person visits for many patients

This article was posted by Cheryl Fallstead

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