A sold-out crowd of 250 patrons of “Cross Out Cancer – Jazz at Sunset”enjoyed a stunning evening on the shores of Lake Erie at the Shoreby Club. The benefit raised funds and awareness for the groundbreaking immunotherapy cancer care and research at Angie Fowler Adolescent & Young Adult Institute at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s and the Wesley Center for Immunotherapy at UH Seidman Cancer Center. Student musicians from the Tri-C JazzFest Academy entertained guests during cocktails. Serpentini Auto was the benefit’s presenting sponsor, and the Richard Cross Family was the benefit’s signature sponsor.
WKYC’s Chief Meteorologist and 11 pm Anchor, Betsy Kling, welcomed guests and served as the evening’s emcee and host. Ryan R. Cross, event
co-chair, with Geoff Masten and Linda Grdina-Masten, thanked guests for their generous support and shared his personal connection to the benefit, inspired by his mother Mary Ann Cross’ cancer journey and excellent clinical care. Bob Serpentini, also shared his personal connection to curing cancer and lauded the impact of the innovative research being advanced at UH. Char and Chuck Fowler served as the benefit’s co-chairs emeritus.
The evening featured Dominick Farinacci, Cleveland native and New York City based trumpeter and band leader. Dominick produced and performed an original immersive musical and narrative program for the evening. The program featured the cancer journey and successful immunotherapy treatment of young adult Rainbow patient Corey Neff,
narrated by his father Paul Neff. Guests were incredibly moved by the blend of spoken word and the musical score developed by Dominick Farinacci and performed with vocalist Mariama Whyte and his band.
The Shoreby Club delivered a delicious dinner with elegant hospitality,and a beautiful sunset over Lake Erie served as a breathtaking backdrop for the evening. Cross Out Cancer included an amazing silent and live auction which raised over $60,000. Unique auction items that inspired enthusiastic bidding included: a privately curated 7-day people-to-people focused discovery tour of Cuba; a cruise to dinner at Chez Francois aboard “Shooting Star,” Serpentini’s super sleek 63’ foot RIVA yacht; tickets to the Masters Tournament; a week’s stay at a beautiful beachfront home in Del Mar, California; tickets to a Cleveland Guardians game in the personal seats of retiring manager Terry Francona.
The true stars of Cross Out Cancer were, as always, the patrons, raising $385,000 to support groundbreaking immunotherapy care and research in the fight against cancer. STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS SUBMITTED BY UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS