By Joyce M. Johnson
Special to the Beacon Journal
Akron residents and Paolo’s restaurant downtown joined Team Fox, benefiting the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
The gala hoped to raise more than $20,000 Saturday night to fund research to treat and find a cure for the disease.
Guest bartenders were Wayne Jones, Russ Pry, Elinore Marsh Stormer and Paula Sauter.
“We chose to raise money as a part of this charity because Wayne Jones is battling Parkinson’s and he has given so much to the community,” organizer Nicole Edwards said.
“This means a lot to me,” Jones said.
His 19-year old niece Whitney Jones sang a selection from Wicked and donated free CDs for every $20 donation.
Wayne Jones’ sister Joyce Wiedie said, “This means everything to our family and when Wayne was diagnosed we learned it could strike anyone.”
Friends Chuck D’Andrea and Dan Horrigan wanted to show their support. Mary Anne Prevost and her friend Jimmy Ferko perused the various gift baskets in the silent auction. “I recently turned 21 so I like the wine and cheese baskets and the fine dining,” Ferko said.
Irene and Bob Genet brought their out-of-town friends Nicky Hutchison and her sister Darcy Brannigan from South Carolina. Sandy and Joe Gibbons braved the drive from Shaker Heights to attend.
“We have friends with Parkinson’s,” said Mike Hausch, who attended with his wife, Kathy Hausch, and friends Dave and Patti Van Pelt.
Gabby King donated half of the proceeds from her jewelry sale to aid in research.
Paolo’s owner Paul Santoferraro said, “This is a good way to raise awareness and this hits home for me since I know a lot of people who are battling this disease.”