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VAM: Gala Response ‘Spectacular’ as Ticket Sales Open

The early response has been “spectacular.” That’s as in “Vascular Spectacular,” the gala that will be a central festivity of the 2019 Vascular Annual Meeting.

The glitzy, fun-filled evening will include live and silent auctions, cocktails and dinner, headliner entertainment and dancing to a DJ. All proceeds benefit the work of the SVS Foundation.

Within the first week, members and friends donated, among other attractions, a one-week Caribbean sailboat cruise, art, fine wine and hotel stays in Toronto and Chicago, as well as many and varied entertainment offerings, including two tickets to any production at the renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Ore.

Member Enrico Ascher, MD, was first out of the box on ticket sales, purchasing a table for 10 almost as soon as the ticket website opened. Seating is limited for the event.

SVS President Michel Makaroun, MD, suggested hosting the gala instead of the President’s Reception. His goal is to celebrate the specialty and bring everyone together while also benefitting the SVS Foundation and continuing its work. He has asked those who typically hold alumni receptions to gather at the gala, instead.

Cynthia Shortell, MD, and Benjamin Starnes, MD, were quick to volunteer both ideas and time for the gala and are co-chairing the planning committee. “I love what Dr. Makaroun is trying to achieve: convergence, rather than divergence,” said Dr. Starnes. “For years, many of our academic institutions held alumni receptions at the Vascular Annual Meeting and, while they have been wonderful, they’ve also been somewhat insular.

“This year, we’re trying to redirect some of those people, as well as the President’s Reception, into one large, fun gathering,” said Dr. Starnes. “We’re bringing people together for a very worthy cause.

“It’s going to be one great party.”

All Can Participate in Auction

Everyone, whether attending VAM or not and wherever they are on June 14, can participate in the Vascular Spectacular gala, including donating items to both the Live and Silent auctions, and bidding on Silent Auction items.

SVS has created a special ticket and auction website, VAM19gala.givesmart.com. There, people may purchase tickets at $250 apiece or a table for 10 at $2,500. Already more than 150 tickets have been sold, many in tables of 10. Seating will be limited.

Members, family and friends go to the same site to donate auction items and (in late May) begin to bid on those and additional offerings. The process of how to handle the submission process (photos are requested) is straightforward, and the bidding process will be equally so.

Silent Auction bidders even will know just who they’re bidding against, said Co-Chair Dr. Cynthia Shortell. “I think that both the silent and live auctions will bring out our competitive sides in a fun and playful way, which will hopefully increase participation.”