The Open Hearts Foundation Held its Open Hearts Gala in Beverly Hills October 21, 2017

Open HeartsActress/Philanthropist Jane Seymour Honored Individuals Living with an Open Heart

The Open Hearts Foundation held its 2017 Open Hearts Gala in Beverly Hills on Saturday, October 21, with emmy-nominated Mindy Burbano Stearns, formerly of KTLA, serving as the evening’s emcee. The foundation is a nonprofit charity established in 2010 with a mission to help empower people to transform adversity into opportunity to serve others.

Six remarkable individuals, representing three different nonprofit organizations, were honored at the event – each with an inspiring story that exemplifies the Open Hearts philosophy. The represented nonprofit organizations were awarded limited-edition Open Hearts sculptures created by Jane Seymour, depicting her iconic open hearts design. Funds raised from the evening will go towards the Open Hearts Foundation’s contributions to these nonprofit organizations.

“I am so excited for the Open Hearts Gala and the opportunity to celebrate six truly amazing individuals and their inspiring stories,” said Jane Seymour of the Open Hearts Foundation. “In addition to recognizing the accomplishments of our honorees, the evening raises awareness for the important causes that each is so passionate about.”

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The 2017 Open Hearts Award Honorees are:

  • Laure Woods: Founder and president of the Bay Area Lyme Foundation, an organization committed to putting a stop to Lyme disease with a focus on prevention and the development of better diagnostics and treatments
  • Yudi Bennett, Ernie Merlan and Susan Zwerman: Founder (Bennett), executive director (Merlan) and executive producer (Zwerman) of Exceptional Minds, a non-profit school and digital media studio serving young adults high on the autism spectrum
  • David Richard and Drew Plotkin: Founded (Richard) and Chairman of the Board (Plotkin) of Global Mobility USA, an organization that provides mobility solutions, education and advocacy to people with disabilities around the world, equipping and empowering them to live fulfilling, purposeful livesHonoring these individuals is an outstanding list of presenters and attendees including Patricia Heaton, Emmy Award winning actress from Everybody Loves Raymond and The Middle; Cloris Leachman, Academy Award winning actress from The Last Picture Show and The Mary Tyler Moore Show; Steve Levitan, creator of Modern Family; Anthony Zuiker, creator of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation; Christie Paul, Weekend Anchor on CNN; Kim Campbell and Ashley Campbell, wife and daughter of legendary Glen Campbell; and Robert and Kym Herjavec of Shark Tank and Dancing with the Stars.In addition to cocktails, dinner and live auction, the evening will also feature inspirational stories, moving testimonials from the honorees and a live musical performance by MAGIC!.

About the Open Hearts Foundation
The Open Hearts Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, is a social impact accelerator that is committed to empowering emerging and growing nonprofit organizations, whose origins and mission are consistent with the precepts of the Open Hearts philosophy. The Foundation, by providing expertise, resources and tools, enables these nonprofits to not only raise their profile but also further their mission and objectives.

Through the foundation, Seymour and the board of directors hope to bring the Open Hearts philosophy into communities worldwide. Joining Seymour in this effort are: James Keach, …Richard N. Gold, president, R.N. Gold & Company; Robert D. Trabucco, managing director, KLS Associates Retail Consulting; James Palmer, owner, Malibu Vineyards and Eric McIntyre, senior vice president, planning, pricing, replenishment and analysis, Signet Jewelers.

The Open Hearts Gala is sponsored by Kay Jewelers, E&J Gallo Winery, Arlene Inch, Guthy-Renker, JS Designs, PCH Films, Garland Palmer Business Management, Inc., Astrid Hertz, Lynn and Lawrence Welk, Jr., The EACH Foundation, Simon James London, and Ungerer and Company.
To learn more about the Open Hearts Foundation, the gala and this year’s honorees, visit

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