Joyce M. Johnson

The 36th annual Sugartown Express rolled into the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn Friday for an evening of music, dancing and fundraising for the American Diabetes Association.


The event also honored its founders, Madeline and Libert Bozzelli, as well as Akron General Health System President and Chief Executive Vincent McCorkle, who was this year’s honorary chairman.


More than 300 guests gathered for the benefit, which raised money for diabetes research, advocacy and education.


Copley High School alumni George Stoll, Diane Ash and Marti Novak make the event a reunion for friends.


“I enjoy the friendship, music and food,” said Margie Easterling.


Marlowe the Magic Clown, aka Irv Korman, handed out stickers to Mackenzie Pollard, Guilianna D’Andrea and Mario D’Andrea, who were with parents Gino and Gia D’Andrea.


Karen Sandel and friend Mitzi Mild attended the event for the first time.


This year’s celebrity waiters, who served up hot pizza, pretzels and other delectables, included Tom Barracato, Karen Bozzelli, Summit County Common Pleas Judge Lynne Callahan, Carol Gausz, Sue Hobson, Silver Lake Mayor Bernie Hovey, Dr. William Landis, John Luck, Summit Common Pleas Judge Alison McCarty, Summit Probate Judge Todd McKenney, Alan Papa, David Peter, County Executive Russ Pry, Summit Domestic Relations Judge John Quinn, Dr. Irv Reisberg, Dan Rice, Fairlawn Mayor Bill Roth, Anita Sanford, State Sen. Tom Sawyer, Summit Fiscal Officer Kristen Scalise, Ilene Shapiro, Summit Common Pleas Judges Elinore Marsh Stormer and Thomas Teodosio, Summit Juvenile Court Judge Linda Tucci Teodosio, and John Zoilo.


There was a special tribute to the Tony Gorant, a long-time supporter of the group who died in 2011. “This keeps Tony alive and working the crowd for something he loved. This is where he always was,” his wife, Toby Gorant, said.