Hearts lit up AT&T Park After Dark

 

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By Tamara Gorman
Photography by Rey Del Fierro

Hearts in the Park? Not just any park, but a world-class ballpark and loving home to the San Francisco Giants – AT&T Park. On February 18th, over 1,000 individuals put their hearts into some serious fun while fundraising and celebrating at the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation’s 2016 Hearts After Dark party in center field of this spectacular park.  What better place for a world-class hospital in a world-class city to throw a party?

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In 2004, the Foundation hit upon a clever idea – Hearts in San Francisco.  Local bay artists were asked to create 5-foot tall heart sculptures to be placed throughout the city before being auctioned. One popular heart sculpture permanently resides at the corner of Powell and Post Streets in Union Square; “America’s Greatest City” by Mr. Tony Bennett. The Hearts in San Francisco art project was so successful it led to the creation of events like Hearts After Dark.

It was quite the sight, the Hearts After Dark tent glowing from center field and a pathway of giant, imaginative Heart Sculptures saying, “Come this way.” However, it was difficult to stay on the designated route as the Pitcher’s Mound, Home Plate, and First Base lured party-goers off the path in order to be the backdrop for some once-in-a-lifetime selfies. It is not often that we can step onto a field of dreams where baseball greats have stood. The same field where legends have broken records and Matt Cain threw the first perfect game in Giants’ history.

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The magenta lighting inside the tent set the mood for an entertaining evening. Decorated with contemporary white sofas and circular banquettes punctuated with pillows by “Sun Flowers” Heart Sculpture Artist, Marconi Calindas, the uber-posh VIP lounge was the place to be.  Delicious pastries and precious macarons dotted all the tables with color and temptation. While guests enjoyed handcrafted cocktails and California wines, servers walked among them with trays of tasty hors d’oeuvres, and of course the oysters at Farallon Restaurant’s enticing oyster bar were the bomb.

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One of the Heart Sculptures in the tent was the “Leave Your Heart in San Francisco” by 2015 Heart Artist Beca Brayer.  This gorgeous Heart Sculpture wrapped up in chains and padlocks – not to keep something out, but to hold in something valuable and cherished – represents the Foundation’s Padlock Initiative.  What a brilliant idea. For a $30 donation, individuals can have an engraved heart-shaped padlock attached to this beautiful sculpture lending their hearts to the story of the City forever.  To order a padlock visit http://sfghf.org/

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The Heart Sculptures weren’t the only hearts in the house. Hearts After Dark is also one crazy dance party!  More than a thousand people couldn’t resist groovin’ to the beats of the exceptionally talented San Francisco band, Pop Rocks. The highlight of the night for the pumped-up crowd was a special guest appearance from Mark McGrath, lead singer of the rock band Sugar Ray and co-host of Extra. McGrath backed by Pop Rocks knocked it out of the park with Sugar Ray’s No.1 Hits like “Every Morning,” “Fly,” and “Someday.”  Up on their feet, hands in the air, and pushing to get closer, people were shouting, “We love you, Mark!”

The 2015 Hearts After Dark was a smashing success.  Together with the 2015 Heroes & Hearts luncheon, the events raised over $1.9 million for Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.

To view the collection of 2015 Hearts in San Francisco, visit the Gallery at http://sfghf.org/events/gallery-of-hearts/2015-hearts/

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