Cool Jazz for a Hot Night was this year’s theme, and boy did they deliver the goods!
The event benefiting ACT for Multiple Sclerosis began with members of the Coachella Valley Boys and Girls’ Club’s Heatwave Jazz Band performing. Board member and entertainer extraordinaire Bill Marx took over after 30 minutes, and then the party really got going.
Special guest performers included chanteuse Chris Bennett, saxophonist Pat Rizzo, and classical pianist / composer John Bayless, who received not one, but two standing ovations. Marx’ band members were Jay Lewis on drums, Don Shelton on wind instruments, and Jeff Stover on bass.
Event chair trio Marc Byrd, Peggy Cravens, and board president Margot Nelligan welcomed more than 140 attendees. Other committee members mingling with guests were Joel Johnson and ACT for MS founder Norma Greer-Fishkind, taking over for her mother, Gloria Greer.
Silent auction packages were in the center of the room, with the bar and bountiful buffet at the back, and musicians at the front. The Pavilion is surrounded on three sides with floor to ceiling glass windows, with spectacular views of the golf course and mountains in the distance. Perfect for this time of year when the sun sets late.
Other board members enjoying the music were outgoing president Suz Hunt, Nelda Linsk, Richard DeSantis, Burt Boss, and Lori Serfling. Supporters spied in the audience included Sarah Milmet, Mitch Blumberg, Pat and Joe Manhart, Betty and Cash Baxter, Charlotte Mennillo, and Barbara Platt. Burrtec sponsored tickets for ACT for Multiple Sclerosis low-income clients who couldn’t afford the $100 event ticket.
ACT for Multiple Sclerosis
73710 Fred Waring Dr. #118, Palm Desert, CA 92260
Photography by Gregg Felsen