On October 16th, Rise Above It (RAI) demonstrated its continued growth while hosting the 2009 Black Dress Yellow Tie event.
Nearly 200 friends and supporters gathered at the Downtown Cleveland Marriott for a silent auction, gourmet dinner and live entertainment. A host of speakers inspired attendees by sharing their personal experiences and their commitment to RAI in the fight against cancer.
Beneficiary, Meghan (Baurer) Yee, spoke of the inspiring role RAI played in her own cancer journey. RAI President, Ryan O'Donoghue, presented Meghan with a $1,000 grant in support on her continuing fight.
Mike Sherwin, LIVESTRONG™ Board Member and Chairman of the Lance Armstrong Foundation Endowment, introduced his long time friend and esteemed colleague, Heidi Adams, as the event Keynote Speaker. His parting words, appropriately displayed on a coffee mug previously given to him by Heidi – "Fuck Cancer!"
Heidi Adams shared a heroic journey, covering her own cancer diagnosis and the eventual establishment of Planet Cancer - the world's premier social networking website for young adults battling cancer. Heidi emphasized the uniqueness and importance of RAI's services, sighting a specific example where RAI and its supporters allowed one particular individual to live out his dreams as an independent young artist in New York City.
New to the program was the presentation of RAI's Outstanding Contribution and Volunteer Service Awards. Dave Zastudil, #15 of the Cleveland Browns, was awarded the Outstanding Contribution Award for his tremendous support since RAI's incorporation, and Alexis Vinick was awarded the Volunteer Service Award for her efforts as RAI's Director of Patient Services – the core responsibility of RAI.
Above: Alexis Vinick, RAI Director of Patient Services; Left: RAI President Ryan O'Donoghue presents Dave Zastudil with Outstanding Contribution Award
Additional thanks to:
Kevin Brown (right) and Thom Sandrock (left) for the wonderful live entertainment.
Magnificat (pictured) and St. Edward's High School Volunteers
And lastly... special thanks to all of our supporters in attendance on October 16th.
Click here to view additional photos from the event!