More than 400 people gathered recently at The Stave Room at American Spirit Works for the fourth annual Bourbon Gala & Auction benefiting the Marietta-based nonprofit Enduring Hearts.

Emceed by WSBTV news anchor Fred Blankenship, the event featured a performance by local singer/songwriter Alex Guthrie (whom you might recognize from his duet with Jennifer Hudson in a Nationwide Insurance commercial), whiskey and bourbon tastings, and a live auction that included a driving experience at Audi’s Circuit of the Americas track in Austin, Texas. Spurred by the speeches of two brave area pediatric heart transplant recipients, Grace Callahan and Bronco Reese, gala attendees helped raise $320,000 that will be awarded to researchers Dr. Kiran Khush of Stanford University and Dr. Shelley Miyamoto of the University of Colorado to underwrite outstanding proposals aimed at improving both the quality of life and longevity of transplant patients.

Photos: Henri Hollis