In a continuing effort to assist residents affected by the March 3 tornadoes, Mend will host a tornado relief benefit from 6 to 8 p.m. on August 13 called “Mend the Heart.”

Mend is a program that brings together local service organizations, churches, civic groups and businesses, along with national and state organizations, to work on long term recovery efforts.

The benefit will be held at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Arts at Auburn University and will include both a silent auction and a live auction.

The silent auction will offer paintings, pottery and other art while the live auction will have unique athletic items and opportunities up for bid. Hors d'oeuvres will be served and a cash bar will be available.

“We’re very excited about this event,” said Laura Eason, chaplain at East Alabama Medical Center and chairperson of Mend. “The idea for this actually began just a few days after the tornado when someone brought in three pieces of art they had just painted based on the happenings in the community.

"From that humble beginning, this has turned into a community-wide event with all of the resources needed to host the event being donated. That will allow 100 percent of the funds raised to be used for the rebuilding effort in Lee County.”

In addition to the silent auction and live auction opportunities, attendees will have the opportunity to donate specific building materials for each home being built.

“This will be similar to a wedding registry where you can choose the gift level that works for you and know specifically how you are helping,” Eason said. “For example, you could donate $25 for a box of nails that will be used on a specific house or $500 for doors at another house.”

The “Mend the Heart” event will feature live music by Muse. Tickets are $50 each and can be purchased online at eamc.org/mend or at the Chamber of Commerce in Auburn and Opelika.

For people who are unable to attend, but wish to help, there is a “Donate” button on the eamc.org/mend website.

Mend's mission is “to ensure that all affected by tragedy and disaster are able to fully recover physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.” For more information, call 528-MEND, like Mend on Facebook or email MEND@eamc.org.

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