‘Bit of Broadway’ benefit raises $106,000 for center

Photo courtesy of Evelyn Cairns

Persa Ristovski serves a decadent Rhapsody restaurant dessert to guest Greg Mahar at the May 21 “A Bit of Broadway” fundraiser for the Josephine Ford Cancer Center – Downriver of Brownstown. The event, which raised $106,000, was held at the equestrian horse barn and horse-showing arena at Oak Tree Farm, the estate of John “Corky” Hancock and his wife, Catherine Teifer. A sellout crowd of 336 attended the benefit. Proceeds are earmarked for the expansion of the center.

By Evelyn Cairns
The Josephine Ford Cancer Center — Downriver is celebrating the success of its first benefit for the center, “A Bit of Broadway Downriver,” which raised $106,000 May 21 to expand the facility for the treatment of cancer patients.

The event was attended by a sellout crowd of 336 at the equestrian horse barn and horse-showing arena of Oak Tree Farm, the 10-acre estate of John “Corky” Hancock and his wife, Catherine Teifer.

The enormous barn and arena in South Rockwood was transformed into a spectacular dinner-dance venue for the occasion.

Entertainment was provided against a backdrop of flashing lights and a colorful, glitzy set by members of the Downriver Youth Performing Arts Center and the popular band Hidden Agenda.

Three individuals whose lives have been affected by cancer spoke of the high quality and compassionate treatment provided at the center. The speakers included Wayne Doran, who was honorary chairman of the event with his wife, Maureen; Heidie Gorno, widow of George Gorno; and Hadieh Sion.

Sion presented a check for $1,000 raised by the National Honor Society of Fordson High School in Dearborn to the center on behalf of the society.

John Polanski, CEO of community-care services for the Henry Ford Health System, thanked the more than 30 sponsors of the event and the committee members for helping to make the event an over-whelming success.

The Rhapsody restaurant served a buffet that included an array of appetizers, pastas, chef-carved pork and beef, stuffed cabbage and chicken paprikas.

A seemingly endless selection of decadent desserts enticed the partygoers to ignore calories for the evening.

Dr. Noel Jackson and Teifer were executive chairs of the event, and honorary committee members were Dan Grant, Greg Mahar, Wally Prechter, John and Kathy Polanski, Robert and Sandra Riney, James and Lana Sexton, and Ron and Cheryl Slyter.

Guests to dine with masters
Well-known Detroit area chef’s will prepare their specialties tableside for guests at Dining with the Masters, a benefit for the Henry Ford Transplant In-stitute to be held from 6 to 10 p.m. June 6 at The Henry, formerly the Ritz-Carlton, Dearborn.

Executive Chef James Woodward of The Henry will be the hosting chef. Among the nearly 30 participating restaurants will be 24 Grille, Cameron’s Steakhouse, Mario’s Restaurant, Ocean Prime, Pacific Rim by Kana, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Wolfgang Puck Grille and Zazio’s.

Tickets, $250 and $500, are available by calling Louise Rallis at the Henry Ford Health System, (313) 874-6138. For additional information, go to www.henryford.com/DiningWithTheMasters.

Save the date . . .
Through Sept. 5 — Exhibit, “Discovering the Civil War,” with the most extensive display of Civil War re-cords ever assembled; admission to the exhibit is free with admission to the museum ($15, adults; $14, seniors; and $11, youths 5-12; children 4 and younger are free); for more information, call (313) 982-6001 or go to www.thehenryford.org.

June 4 — Wyandotte Fishing Derby & Kids’ Expo, for children 5-13; participants will receive awards and gift bags; prizes will be awarded for the longest, smallest and most unusual fish; applications are available at the special-events office at Yack Arena, 3131 Third St.; participants must provide their own equipment; bait will be available at the fishing pier; free admission, but preregistration is required; the expo will follow at Bishop Park; for more information, call (734) 324-4502.

June 5, 6 — Auditions for the Downriver Performing Arts Center production of “Godspell”; 6 to 9 p.m. at the Trenton Village Theatre, 2447 W. Jefferson; participants must be 13 to 19 years old at the time of auditions and prepared to sing and dance; a mandatory parent meeting will be held at 7 p.m. June 8; show dates will be Aug. 5, 6 and 7; for more information, call (734) 671-2202 or go to www.DYPAC.com.