Betty O’Neill-Roderick

Over 700 people gathered at Quaker Station Friday evening for the seventh annual Evening of Wine and Wishes.

Greg and Tiffany Michalec, founders of the event, greeted guests, who enjoyed an evening of fine wine and gourmet food at the fundraiser for Akron Children’s Hospital. The Warren Henry Jazz Quartet provided musical entertainment.

The Michalecs have set a goal of raising $1 million for the hospital in gratitude for the care their twins, Katie and Cory, received after their premature birth. The event has raised over $725,000 over the first six years.

Greg Michalec thanked all of the sponsors and recognized three original sponsors “who have been with us since the beginning: Giant Eagle, WNIR and the Montrose Auto Group.”

Tallmadge Mayor Dave Kline and his wife, Sue, toasted a successful bidding evening with Denny and Chris Thompson, Bruce Bowers and Carol Martin. Kaitlin Brogley and Joe Tomei circulated through the crowd selling Mardi Gras beads, later used for an exciting game of Heads or Tails.

Executive chef Jordan Vice said people began setting up buffets at 7 a.m. Becky Badar presided over an antipasto bar, and Jodi and Michael DelFerraro offered mashed potato martinis, a favorite with the crowd. Kelly Surface tried the sushi bar, while Nate Flossie carved beef tenderloin and Brit Herring offered pork tenderloin.

Photos of the Michalec twins decorated the ballroom, where guests looked over hundreds of silent auction items. Janet and Mark Fairharst admired a set of Wizard of Oz collectible dolls with Gail and Bob Frangos. Also placing bids were John and Julie Villilo, Terri Couts, Tiffany Edwards, Vicki Parisi, Denise Zehner, Chris Markulis and Rhonda Hammond.

Mark Changet of Superior Beverage served Barefoot Bubbly and Twisted River wine, Dena Lapore and John Picone offered Ghost Pines wine, while Jack and Diane Gaugler liked the DaVinci Chianti served by Pete Theofilos and Zach Clarke.

Bill Artman of Giant Eagle said the company is happy to participate in the event, providing dining stations throughout the room. Chef Vince Amato expertly flamed bananas Foster for Jim and Lisa Micali.

Dr. John Crow, director of trauma services, said he has performed more than 15,000 operations at the hospital, including operating on the Michalec twins when they were only 2 months old. Last year the hospital treated 650,000 children, he said, “and every child is taken care of as if they were our own.”

Dr. Harriet Feick and her husband, John Sekas, attended the event with Kim and Steve Firestone and Michele and Fred Scaglione.

Bob Hale conducted the live auction. Dr. Anantha Murthy had the winning bid for monthly dinners at a Hospitality Restaurant, and Elaine and Brian Heinzerling took home an adorable puppy dressed in a tuxedo.