Betty O’Neill-Roderick

An evening of food and wine awaited 700 guests at the John S. Knight Center Thursday night. Luke Taylor, Angie Gordon and Kim Bridges co-chaired the 15th annual Red & White on Thursday Night, a benefit for the Arthritis Foundation, Great Lakes Region of Northeast Ohio.

Megan Faust greeted guests at the VIP Lounge, where University Catering of the University of Akron served hors d’oeuvres with wine from PB Hein Vineyards and piano music by Daniel Michalec.

Chris Smith, chief executive of the Arthritis Foundation, said the event helps fund programs and services, including the new Support Arthritis Kids, a program giving backpacks to kids with arthritis. It includes a teddy bear that can be heated in a microwave to help relieve pain.

Anita Zupich and Amy Kaplan sold raffle tickets in wine bottles for a grand prize of a trip to Napa Valley; Keith Busch was the winner. Milton Rankins and Dian Swarm invited guests to roll dice for a trip to Las Vegas, which Ron Bassak won.

Leslie and Kevin Christensen tried the scallops served by Louis Prpich of Sugo. Roger Thomas of Piatto Novo served lobster bisque to Mike Deiwert and Don Rife, and Kevin and J.J. Altomare offered pork sliders from Hudson’s Restaurant.

Don and Mary Lou Harrington tried the “disassembled cowboy steak dinner” offered by Galaxy Restaurant, while Debi Cope and Lisa Reaven tried wine from Glazers Distributors; and Ned and Barbara Goodman talked with Brett Jessup of Superior Beverage.

Mary Vlahos, Lisa Hagee and Michele Ody wore red for the occasion, reflecting the red and white bouquets by Gregg Lauck.

For dessert, Moe Schneider brought her warm raspberry bread pudding from Moe’s Restaurant; and Stephanie Kurtz offered gingerbread with warm lemon sauce and gingerbread cheesecake from West Side Bakery.

Spotted in the crowd were Sylvia Tomsic, Tim Brown, Dana Epple Huntley, Leslie Christianson, Sherry Hochstetler, Jack DeLeo, Don Corpora, Alison Morrow, Donna Roberts, Steve Kiernan, Darrell and Angela French, Pat Flanagan, Leah Hohenberger and Randi Morgan. Dr. John Pinkowski, honorary chairman, thanked presenting partner Akron General and all of the sponsors and guests at the event, which is expected to raise more than $100,000 for the Arthritis Foundation.