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Santa Fe, N.M. ---The star studded seventh annual Sweetheart Auction,  Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012, 5 to 9  p.m. at the Santa Fe Convention Center will raise much-needed funding for the Cancer Foundation for New Mexico (CFFNM).  This nonprofit provides support services to cancer patients from northern New Mexico and the funds raised this year will expand services to a larger patient population.

"The Sweetheart Auction has always been a wonderful party," says Bud Hamilton, Chairman of the CFFNM Board, "but this year takes on a new meaning as we raise the funds to support a much larger patient group. Since our inception, we have continued to expand the types of services we provide.  We launched ‘Meals that Heal' last year to provide grocery gift cards to patients in need.  Now we want to bring those services to a much larger group of patients.  Our goal is to raise an extra $100,000 to achieve that."

"The Sweetheart Auction has always been a very special event," adds Corinne Collins, Executive Director of CFFNM.  "The outpouring of kindness and support from the people in the community who donate items for the auction, the sponsors, and the attendees is remarkable.  Cancer is clearly an issue that has touched almost everyone in some way.  This is one of those truly special events in Santa Fe that combines a fun celebration with a great sense that we are doing something that really makes a difference."

The event includes dinner by Peas ‘n Pod, an open wine bar, a silent auction with more than 300 items, a live auction and a raffle for a Toyota Highlander Hybrid (provided by Beaver Toyota of Santa Fe). Sweetheart Auction guests will support northern New Mexico cancer patients and the Cancer Foundation for New Mexico by bidding on the following items: a 10-day African safari; an original oil painting by Santa Fe resident and famed actor Gene Hackman; a bronze sculpture by Allan Houser; a vacation beach home in Costa Rica; celebrity dinners; artwork by Elias Rivera, Tony Abeyta, Rosetta Santiago, Bill Haskell, Preston Singletary, Jody Naranjo, Shelley Muzylowski Allen, Rebecca Bluestone, and others; jewelry, rare wine, fly fishing excursions, chefs dinners, cooking classes and gift certificates for hotels and restaurants. 

Thanks to the Cancer Foundation for New Mexico's expanded services, all northern New Mexico cancer patients now have access to their services. To reflect their broader scope of services, and to reinforce independence from any single health care provider, the organization has recently changed its name to the Cancer Foundation for New Mexico (CFFNM). In the first six months of serving this larger patient population, CFFNM's patient expenses have increased over 55% from 2010.

The Cancer Foundation for New Mexico was founded in 2003 and provides non-medical support services to cancer patients, including transportation reimbursement, lodging assistance, and grocery gift cards along with other much-needed services. Without this support, many people would forego cancer treatment altogether because of these incremental costs associated with treatment.

WHAT:  Sweetheart Auction
WHERE:   Santa Fe Convention Center, 201 W. Marcy Street, Santa Fe, N.M.  (At the corner of Marcy and Grant Streets)
WHEN:   Saturday February 4, 2012, 5 -9 p.m.
TICKETS/INFO:  $45, www.cancerinstitutefoundation.org or call 505-955-7931

Jennifer Marshall