Wednesday, February 28, 2007

There?s a whole lot of sharing going on

Share Your Heart Ball reaps rewards of generosity

Express Staff Writer

Ketchum residents Sue Connor and her daughter, Sarah Adicoff, were star attendees at the Share Your Heart Ball Saturday at the Limelight Room in Sun Valley. In 2006 Sarah was a camper at Camp Rainbow Gold, which is a beneficiary of the annual benefit. Photo by Willy Cook

Glamour and stunning dresses were visible in Sun Valley the night before The Academy Awards rolled out the red carpet. The fifth annual Share Your Heart Ball, held Saturday, benefits the Idaho Make-Wish Foundation and the American Cancer Society's Camp Rainbow Gold. Many representatives of both organizations were present for the festivities, including campers Ketchum resident Sarah Adicoff, 17, and Boise resident Zoe Walker, 10. Both girls had their moments on stage.

The Share Your Heart Ball went Hollywood this year as event decorators Kathy Crosson and Jen Dies gussied up the usually staid Limelight Room with plenty of panache, sparkle and a color theme of silver, black and white.

Early entertainment was supplied by 20-year Camp Rainbow Gold volunteers and music directors Stefan Mitchell and Frank Outhet, while partygoers "shopped" the panoply of extravagant silent auction items.

On-stage hosts and board members of Make-A-Wish and Camp Rainbow Gold Kris and Rob Cronin introduced various speakers, including actress Tiffani Thiessen-Smith, a national advisory board member of Make-A-Wish and a volunteer at Camp Rainbow Gold.

"As an actress you're trained to control you emotions, but with Camp Rainbow Gold there's no way you can," Thiessen-Smith said. She introduced Adicoff, who looked sprightly in a red dress and new growth short hair. Her parents, Sue Connor and Sam Adicoff, wept openly at their table as she spoke from the stage about her time at Camp Rainbow Gold.

In November 2005, Sarah Adicoff of Ketchum was diagnosed with sinus rhabdomyosarcoma. Last summer was her first at Camp Rainbow Gold.

"Sarah wouldn't get out of bed when she was sick. Then we'd talk about Camp Rainbow Gold and if she wanted to go," Sue Connor said. "It was something for her to really look forward to. She had a better time than she expected."

Adicoff's parents have been so inspired they are throwing a childhood cancer research fundraiser at the Roosevelt Tavern in mid-March.

The live auction got off to a rollicking start led by emcee Larry Flynn. "The ball raised nearly $750,000. It's pretty darn close," said Rob Cronin.

The event inspired others, too.

"This is the most moving display of emotions and generosity I've ever seen," said Sun Valley resident Denise Gillingham, herself a cancer survivor.

The band Groovline, which has played every Share Your Heart Ball, kept the music grooving for the many guests packing the dance floor. The group will go to Camp Rainbow Gold for the first time this coming summer to entertain and conduct a musical workshop with the kids.

"This is such a wonderful event," Ed O'Gara said toward the end of the evening. "It's a great cause—and fun."

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