This month, Gabby enjoys a positive Westside story in Wilmington, uncovers a risqué prom and discovers a few culinary delights at DelTech in Dover.
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“It’s very gratifying to see Westside prospering and expanding. Westside is my sixth child,” Westside Family Healthcare founder Salle McDaniel shared after the group’s 20th anniversary gala at the Chase Center—its first large fundraising event.
“West Side Story” was a natural choice of themes, said executive director Lolita Lopez, explaining how many, many generous people, headed by deputy director Sarah Noonan and the party pros at Planning Factory, made the event look as if it had run continuously for the past two decades.
A 1958 black-and-white police car and actors portraying the musical’s Lt. Shrank and Officer Krupke greeted guests on the sidewalk. Inside, Governors’ Hall was packed wall to wall with auction items, drinks, tasty morsels such as white truffle risotto and a two-story steel fire escape, custom built for the evening, where local vocalists Kara DeYoe as Maria and Rick Fountas as Tony sang, “Tonight, tonight won’t be just any night.” Indeed, it was an extraordinary evening.
Donna Goodman, chief financial officer for Westside, enjoyed an OMG moment at first sight of the room and stage. Asked if the group’s money was well spent, she could exclaim only, “Yes, oh, yes.”
On stage, in front of a painted fire escape backdrop, co-chairs Robert Laskowski and Josh Martin and their Sharks- and Jets-dressed “best girls,” Kathy Laskowski and Cynthia Primo Martin, started the night’s program by introducing U.S. Senator Tom Carper, who reminded the crowd that $15 billion has been allocated for community healthcare organizations that provide medical assistance to the 47 million Americans with little or no health insurance.
Is the senator a fan of musical theater? Carper says he likes almost all music. He told us of his days promoting concerts while at Ohio State, the Peter Paul and Mary and Harry Chapin concerts he helped bring to The Grand, and, more recently booking The Fray and The Mod Squad to the Democratic National Convention. Carper rocks. As do The Funsters, who kept the night fun and got everyone dancing, which is good for your health, north, south, east or West.
Page 2: Gourmet Gala Goes Glam