Thursday, December 14th, 2017

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Summa Health System “Sapphire Ball”

Thirteen was not an unlucky number at this year’s “Sapphire Ball”, the thirteenth one to support Summa Health System. Nine hundred guests at Akron’s Knight Center were generous enough to greatly surpass the fundraiser’s goal of a million dollars. The evening began with a social hour. Huge spheres, much like Chinese lanterns, identified the leading corporate sponsors, and helped illuminate the room. The ETC children’s chorus performed and the hospital’s young professionals helped as volunteers.

Banquet tables in the dining area featured elegant white floral centerpieces, and chairs dressed in fabric. Everything was first class, from the bar offerings, to the evening’s fabulous dinner menu.

A program honored the system’s President and CEO, Thomas Strauss. He returned the favor later as guests were encouraged to fund Summa’s Palliative Care and Hospice Services. When donations were made by audience members, Strauss and his wife Sue added $25,000 to the evening’s total of 1.3 million dollars. Local long-time rocker Michael Stanley performed with his band, and guests enjoyed a dessert buffet as they danced.

STORY BY ART THOMAS/PHOTOGRAPHS BY ROBERT WETZLER

 

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