From the Heart Gala is Feb. 5

Virtual drawing ongoing until Feb. 5


ROCHELLE — From the Heart will hold its annual gala on Saturday, Feb. 5 at 6 p.m. at Flight Deck Bar & Grill.

The event, in its 14th year, benefits the Rochelle Area Community Foundation, HOPE of Ogle County, Rochelle Christian Food Pantry, Pegasus Special Riders, Hub City Senior Center, Shining Star Children’s Advocacy Center, CASA and FOCUS House.

The gala will have hors d’oeuvres, dinner and dessert, a live and silent auction and games and raffles. There will be complimentary valet parking and photographs. A table of eight costs $700, couples cost $185 and individual tickets cost $95. 

The items at the gala include a 75-inch TV, a Gale Sayers autographed jersey, a Jerry Rice autographed jersey and a Justin Fields autographed jersey.

From the Heart President and Founder Dave Eckhardt said his goal is to raise $70,000 this year.

“Our goal for our first year was $30,000,” Eckhardt said. “We’ve come a long way. We only had two groups that benefited from it when we started. It’s just been incredible. We had no idea it’d go where it has. We’re our own 501c3 nonprofit now. The biggest thing and what I enjoy most is giving the checks. And it’s more every year.”

Last year, the gala was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eckhardt said that was “fun” and turned out successful. From the Heart decided to keep a virtual aspect in 2022 and will host a virtual drawing on its Facebook page on Feb. 5. Those who are unable to attend the gala the same day can still participate in the drawing and event in that way. 

“For the virtual raffle drawing, it’s $100 per ticket, and you’ll have one entry into each of the three prizes,” Eckhardt said. “One is half a hog with processing, one is a quarter beef with processing and a 75-inch Samsung TV. They also get a $25 voucher for Flight Deck. It essentially costs $75. If you want additional chances, you can pay an extra $20 per ticket.”