Legendary rock band Chicago to perform at 2008 St. Paul Foundation fundraiser

By Rachel Skei Donihoo 

Chicago, one of the longest running and most successful U.S. pop/rock groups, will headline the St. Paul Medical Foundation Legends 2008 gala benefit for the heart, lung and vascular programs at UT Southwestern University Hospital.

The event, which will be held Saturday, Nov. 15, at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, is the foundation's largest fundraiser, providing support for medical research and advanced patient care.

"This is a particularly exciting year for Legends on many different levels," said Maryann Mihalopoulos, one of the event's co-chairs, along with her husband, Frank. "Not only does it give our community an opportunity to lend its support to one of North Texas' finest assets — the heart, lung and vascular programs of UT Southwestern — it will be a truly celebratory evening. We're thrilled that Chicago, a legend in and of itself, will be here to share its wonderful talents with us, while raising awareness about a cause very close to our hearts."

Joyce and Larry Lacerte are co-chairing the 2008 event with Mr. and Mrs. Mihalopoulos. Dr. Kern Wildenthal, president of Southwestern Medical Foundation, and his wife, Marnie, have been named honorary chairs.

"Proceeds from the event will ensure that the quality of care delivered here continues to be of the highest caliber, and those of us involved in this wonderful benefit are thrilled to have an active role in making that happen," said Mrs. Lacerte.

Sponsorship opportunities are avail­able at the $1,500 to $50,000 levels.

Chicago released its first record in 1969 and quickly became one of the country's most popular and enduring pop/rock bands, with more than 50 major hits to its credit. According to Billboard, Chicago was the leading U.S. singles charting group during the 1970s. The group's classic hits include "Baby, What a Big Surprise," "You're the Inspiration," "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is" and many more.

"Because Chicago is a favorite of so many people, there is great excitement building around this year's gala," said Sally Ridgway, president of the St. Paul Medical Foundation. "We have every expectation that it will succeed in generating significant support for the outstanding heart and lung programs at UT Southwestern."

The first Legends gala was held in 1993 at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. Since its inception, the event has raised more than $4 mil­lion for programs at the university hospital. Past Legends entertainers include Tony Bennett, Bill Cosby, the Pointer Sisters and the Temptations.

The 2007 Legends gala — featuring Jay Leno — raised more than $300,000 for St. Paul Medical Foundation and the medical center's heart, lung and vascular program. The event was co-chaired by Peggy Meyer and Dr. Dan Meyer and Helen and Peter McKenzie. More than 100 sponsors and donors underwrote the event.

Members of the 2008 Legends Host Committee are Ebby Halliday Acers; Kelly and Brock Compton; Lou Ann and Mike Corboy; Kathy and Harlan Crow; Sissy and Allen Cullum; Margaret and Robert Dowd; Joyce and Mike Ernst; Beth and Fin Ewing; Dena and Eric Frankfurt; Sue and Jim Gragg; Whitney and Jay Grogan; Isabell and Joe Haggar; Jan and Jim Hinckley; Susan and Bob Kaminski; Karen and Alan Katz; Caren and Pete Kline; Lisa and Peter Kraus; Jennifer Lassiter; Mary Ann and Allen Lassiter; Kathleen and Frank Lauinger; Kay and Jay Laurenzi; Carrie and Craig Levering; Patty and Mark Leyendecker; Janet and Derek McClain; Dr. Hugh L. McClung; Helen and Peter McKenzie; Dr. Dan and Peggy Meyer; Reena and James Morris; Lydia and Dan Novakov; Pam and Gary Patsley; Beth and Dan Plumlee; Dr. Claude and Pat Prestidge; Marcia and Bill Rafkin; Dr. Karl and Carolyn Rathjen; Dr. Randall and Barbara Rosenblatt; Lizzie and Dan Routman; Bonnie and Peter Smith; Debby and Webb Spradley; Kathy and Alan Stewart; Patty Sullivan; Betty and John Taylor; Roxann and Misha Vyazmensky; and Laura Williamson.

In addition to underwriting support, individual tickets to Legends 2008 may be purchased for $500. For more information on tickets or sponsorships, please call 214-645-1952.