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Blues and brews benefit Prescription Assistance Network


Betty O’Neill-Roderick

Guests entered through a make-believe pharmacy for the ninth annual Blues, Brews & All That Jazz, held at the Kent State Stark Conference Center on Thursday evening. The make-believe pharmacy entrance was designed and constructed by Sally Paquin and Lorrie Harbert.

Inside, Doug Argabright of Personal Touch transformed the Great Hall into a German beer garden in keeping with the German theme of the evening, which raised funds for the Prescription Assistance Charitable Pharmacy, one of only three in the state of Ohio.

Carol Risaliti, executive director, said the Charitable Pharmacy, which began in 2002, provides prescriptions, medication therapy management, education and professional pharmacy services for area residents who cannot afford their prescription drugs.

Devon Feriance and Katie Printz co-chaired the event, and Chris and Michele Goff were honorary co-chairs.

Featured were silent and live auctions, music by the Elements, and a German-themed dinner prepared by executive chef Joe Belinsky.

Lisa French, Lauren Zink and Jeff LeBeau showed their expertise and knowledge as they guided guests sampling beer from the Canton Brewing Co. Dan Bryan and Bob Laird liked the Tiny Tusc Kolsch and Cascade Pale Ale, while Melody Smith preferred the Carpe Noctem Coffee Porter beer, “because it tastes like coffee,” she told her mother, Margie Kolich. Nearby, Olivia Tharp and David Pokrivnak served a variety of Elevag wines, as guests enjoyed German hors d’oeuvres.

Retired nurse Bonnie Burdette said, “I came out of retirement to assist at the pharmacy,” as she also assisted at the silent auction. Sue Reagan was in charge of the Surprise Purse Auction, while Michelle Young sold keys to the Treasure Chest of Cash to Luke Fawcett and Tom Gehring.

Emcee Kayleigh Kriss of Mix 94.1 radio introduced board President John Feucht, who thanked guests for supporting the Charitable Pharmacy, which this year alone has provided over $2 million in medications to area residents.

After dinner, Rod Dimmerling conducted the live auction of trips and special dinners. Enjoying the event were: Dan and Julie Root, Brian French, Chris Feriance, Bridgette Neisel, Joni Close, Dawn Miller, Hortense Bobbitt, Joan Gillespie, Janet Deakins, Tom and Theresa Manzell, Todd and Kellie Johnson, Nick Perini and Terry and Kay Seeberger.

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