“Welcome to Las Vegas!” said crooner Michael Sonata as he welcomed guests to the Event, Vegas Nights Saturday evening. The benefit for the Stephen A Comunale Jr. Family Cancer Foundation drew more than 700 guests to the home of Steve Comunale for an evening of dining, dancing and Las Vegas-style entertainment.
A giant white tent was magically transformed into a Las Vegas nightclub by Dean Ross and his staff at Event Lighting. “We’ve been here all week, hanging beads, lights and décor,” said Ross.
Dana Rode and Joe Ross took souvenir photos of the guests.
A steering committee of Rennick Andreoli, Steve Comunale, Ruthie George, Marisa Hoffmann, Kim Hurray and Monica Stevens worked with event planner Eileen Benson in planning the Las Vegas-style event.
“Rennick is the glue that holds everything together,” said Amanda Comunale as she enjoyed the event with her brother, John, and his wife, Sarah. “He and my dad have been friends for 55 years,” she said.
The Stephen A Comunale Jr. Family Cancer Foundation assists cancer patients and their families with everyday financial burdens while battling cancer. “We want people to come to us,” said Amanda Comunale. “We work with social workers, community members, hospitals and other organizations to get the word out that we can provide assistance to those battling cancer.”
Outside the tent, Beau Schmidt of Beau’s Grille at the Hilton Hotel was busy cooking beef tenderloin on giant grills to be served with Mesa Grilled chicken and Lucky’s roasted potatoes. Inside, Tina Myers directed guests to Venetian smoked chicken chowder, shrimp and crab cake sliders.
Tom and Julie Nader found seats on a comfortable couch, as did Judy Alexander and Paula Land. Bob and Doreen Fischer, Lisa Mothersbaugh, Rachel Paulus, Edward Lehky, Fay Wish and Helene Rogovy looked over hundreds of silent auction items. Maddey Heupler, Julia Klein, Maria Bandwen and Claudia Behrens circulated through the crowd selling raffle rickets for an Ohio State football game and other prizes.
No two ladies wore the same dress, but Shade McMillen and Mike Swiatkowski wore the exact same “Elvis” white jumpsuits, much to the amusement of their wives. Attired in sequins and gold lame were Chris “Elvis” Trelease, his wife, Kay; Angela Ellison; Tim and Tonna Tyler; Monica and Allen Brunner and Joe and Patti Treman.
Mark Comunale said Vegas showgirl Carolyn Stanek came directly from Vegas for the event. Joining in the fun were: Sheriff Drew Alexander, Judges Tom and Linda Teodosio, County Executive Russ Pry, Mary Ann Jackson, Barbara Hudak, Joanie Shear, Russ Fesler, Lola Vincent, Stella Kunkler, Libby Alessio, Peggy Elias and Marilyn Stevens.
Guests enjoyed entertainment by the Scintas and then danced the night away to music by D.J. Scott E. Jones. The Event, Vegas Nights was expected to raise more than $200,000 for the Stephen A. Comunale Jr. Family Cancer Foundation.