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Benefit concert for organ donation exceeds fundraising goals

Jun. 25, 2015, 9:12 AM

From left to right: Sharon Pakis, director of public education at Tennessee Donor Services (TDS); Rachel Gibson, TDS hospital services in-house coordinator; Teresa Hobt-Bingham, MSN, R.N.; Heather Hart, BSN, R.N.; Tanika Lankford, MSN, R.N.; Sherri Settles, TDS public education and marketing; Ryan Vance, BSN, R.N. and Beimal Yazdanparast, BSN, R.N.

In only its second year, Songs for Life, a benefit concert to raise awareness and celebrate organ donation at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, has far exceeded fundraising goals, according to event organizers.

Monies raised from the concert will help build a permanent donor memorial at Vanderbilt to honor patients and recipients at the Medical Center.

“We are certainly far ahead of where we thought we would be in only our second year,” said Heather Hart, BSN, R.N., a nurse on the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at Vanderbilt. “Our team is incredibly pleased with the progress thus far and we are thrilled to begin looking into the style, build and artist to design the memorial.”

This year’s benefit raised $11,131, putting the fundraiser at nearly $20,000.

“There is a great need to boost awareness around organ donation,” said Hart about the need to build a memorial. “It’s truly remarkable how one person’s donation can impact others. We want to celebrate these patients (donors and recipients), their families and their gifts.”

Hart said she hopes the memorial will be created by a local artist in keeping with the local talent featured at the concerts.

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