Cancer center benefit raises $300,000 for charity

By on March 19, 2011

Geneva—On Saturday, Feb. 19, Ed and Karen French hosted the 6th Annual Winter Wine Festival, benefiting the LivingWell Cancer Resource Center. The evening not only entertained the guests, but also brought in a record amount of contributions for the charity.

“We are so thrilled at the generosity of our community. This year’s benefit brought in the highest total ever, which reached $300,000,” said LivingWell’s Development Director, Susan Mielke. “Our deepest thanks go to the many people and organizations that have made this possible.”

Highlights of the benefit included champagne and caviar served in Karen French’s boutique-like master closet; a sushi bar by Wok ‘n Fire in the three season’s room, and performances by DMaC, the DePaul Men’s acappella group.

Chef John Riedle of A Private Affair catering organized the cuisine, which included appetizers and desserts from the leading restaurants of the Fox Valley; Sommelier Debra Metzinger coordinated the wine and champagne, poured by top wineries and restaurants; Scott Mackay of 95.9 The River emceed the event with entertaining commentary, while the auctioneer, David Goodman, kept the bidding at a rousing pace throughout the live auction.

“Every year, I am amazed at how our development team, led by Susan Mielke and Jennifer Sommers, and their amazing volunteer committee outdo themselves. We are so thankful to Ed and Karen French, who hosted this magnificent event, and to all of our sponsors, donors and volunteers who supported this event,” said Nancy Vance, executive director of LivingWell. “If it weren’t for the tremendous generosity of our entire community, LivingWell would not be able to grow at the rate that we have over the past five years. We are now able to offer over 50 programs and services, all free of charge, to thousands of cancer survivors and their families.”

LivingWell Cancer Resource Center is the one place in the Fox Valley region where people living with cancer, their families and friends, can go for information and support services that address the challenges of living with cancer free of charge to the participants. LivingWell offers networking and support groups, educational programs, mind-body fitness classes, youth programs, a library, individual psychological and nutritional counseling and much more. LivingWell is located at 1803 W. State St., in Geneva, and online at