Monday, June 26th, 2017

HeartThrob Ball


Parents Amy and Dan Witzigreuter with their children Luke, Eve and Paul (HeartThrob Ball)


Thomas Hotaling, Andrew Menneto, parents Rosemary and John with honoree Connor Menneto (HeartThrob Ball)


Drs. Elaine and Robert Wyllie (HeartThrob Ball)

Dr. Toby Cosgrove, Norma Lerner and Umberto Fedeli (HeartThrob Ball)


Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital
HeartThrob Ball




HeartThrob Ball to benefit Cleveland Clinic Children’s Hospital attracted 1,100 patrons to the Wolstein Center and raised a record-breaking $825,000. Honorary chairman of this milestone event was Umberto Fedeli.
The most important element of the HeartThrob Ball is the presentation of Courage Awards to pediatric patients who have demonstrated great character in overcoming huge medical challenges.
The youngest of the 2010 Courage Award recipients was five-year-old Paul Witzigrueter of Lakewood. A congenital condition required him to undergo a liver transplant at eight months. He was later diagnosed with autism, and is scheduled for a kidney transplant later this year.
Eighteen-year-old Ellen Becker of Struthers, Ohio was preparing to attend college on a softball scholarship last summer when a tragic car accident took her friend’s life and left her paralyzed from the waist down. Ellen also sustained a major brain injury, but her optimism and persistence led to a remarkable turnaround.
Finally, Connor Menneto, age 18, of Albany, N.Y., was an avid sportsman who suddenly was overcome with extreme and debilitating pain in his leg after healing from a foot injury. He was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, a rare disorder often occurring after recovery from an injury. Through great perseverance in the Pediatric Pain Rehabilitation Program, Connor has regained control of his pain and his life, and returned to school last fall.
Topping off the evening was a special musical performance by The Beach Boys. STORY BY CAROLINE R. MERK/PHOTOGRAPHS BY ROBERT MULLER


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