Getting wild, winning hearts on Saturday night

By: Nick bona
By: Nick bona

KNOXVILLE (WVLT) -- The old saying "it's a jungle out there," described Saturday evening at the Knoxville Convention Center.

Knoxville's 23rd Heart Gala was held this weekend, and organizers decided to give it a jungle theme.

Organizers dubbed the gala "Wild at Heart," and it featured a silent auction, dinner, and guest appearances from some Knoxville Zoo animals.

The black tie event is held annually, and brings together area businesses, the medical community, and even former patients with personal stories to tell.

"I have heart disease, and once you have it, you don't quit having it," said David Cutcliffe, former Offensive Coordinator for the Vols and the current head coach of Duke University's football team. "I had open heart surgery in March 2005, and thank goodness the heart disease was detected before I had a heart attack."

Coach Cutcliffe also served as one of the events honorary chairmen.

All the gala's proceeds went to support education, research and awareness of heart disease and strokes in Knox County.

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