Fun, laughter, camaraderie, and generous giving were to be heard and seen in abundance at this year’s Memory Matters Gala. The theme this year was “The Splendor of Spain” with emphasis on the southern Mediterranean region of Andalusia. The decor reflected the theme with lovingly hand-painted Spanish ceramic tiles, vases full of fresh flowers, and the scent of fresh oranges everywhere!

The menu was prepared by Chef Brian with guidance from our own Chef in Residence, Kim Baretta. The food was carefully chosen to reflect the Mediterranean lifestyle, a key component in the interventions we employ not only in our Memory Care Center for optimum brain health but in all our Brain Health Education throughout the community. How often do you go to a Gala where you are served with a lobster tail?!

More than 300 guests filled the Sea Pines Country Club to capacity. These wonderful guests, many of whom have been loyal supporters of Memory Matters for years, continue to offer moral support and give their time, talent and treasure to grow our Memory Care services and to stay true to our Vision to Optimize Brain Wellness throughout the Lowcountry community and beyond.

During the registration and gathering, our guests were serenaded with a selection of Spanish music by the highly talented Guillermo Brazon and his lovely wife Nelly. The guests fought hard to buy an impressive array of silent auction items during the cocktail hour before being entertained by Gia Jaggers, (a dance instructor at the Hilton Head Ballroom Dance Studio) to an authentic flamenco dance, accompanied by Guillermo and Nelly.

During his opening remarks Board President, Mike Cooke, thanked everyone for their attendance and continuing generosity, noting that within this glittering array of gathered guests, there were founding members from 22 years ago, volunteers in the programs, administration, kitchen, and landscaping. There were volunteer Doctors who help the staff with crucial caregiver counseling, those who deliver food and others who play music or provide an opportunity for art. Importantly, a number of our care families were in attendance who continue to inspire us to be proactive and develop new ideas.

Mike challenged our guests to collectively act as Memory Matters Ambassadors in the community at large, remarking that early diagnosis of a memory issue is vitally important and that to diagnose too late is such a lost opportunity. He reminded us that Baseline Memory Screens are free and confidential at Memory Matters. They are just as vital as a cholesterol or blood pressure check.

The evening was a resounding success with many guests already writing to us or calling to say how much they enjoyed the evening. The silent and live auctions were really well supported, as was the request for funding towards the conclusion of the evening. THANK YOU to all who gave so generously!

We have many “Star” volunteers, but none shine more brightly than 14-year-old Amélie, who gave an enchanting virtuoso performance on the violin at the Finale to the evening. Her arrangement and rendition of excerpts from Georges Bizet’s Opera Carmen were just perfect. It was a difficult piece to play solo. One guest has written that she could have listened to Amélie all night…….and we agree!

To enjoy more Gala photos by photographer Aaron Guerrero with Two Arrow Arrow Films, please click on this link:

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