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Originally from Binghamton, New York, Ashley Massis is a small town girl with big city dreams. After moving to Manhattan over two years ago, she is currently pursuing her two great career passions: fashion and writing. With over 7 years in the fashion industry and working for various companies as a freelance author and critic, she has become an expert in NYC nightlife and culture. She founded NYSocialStatus.com in 2012. Currently, she is training for the 2012 NYC Marathon while raising money for the charity Team for Kids.

Recap: Seidman Cancer Center’s Imagine Benefit At Highline Ballroom

Betsy Werbel © Monica Simoes

On Monday, May 7th, the University Hospital’s Seidman Cancer Center hosted its Imagine Fundraiser, featuring Broadway performers. The event was held at the Highline Ballroom, which gave the perfect location for the acoustics and performances. Led by Broadway actress Betsy Werbel, cast members from Broadway’s Wicked, Book of Mormon, Memphis, Jersey Boys, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Mamma Mia! sang a compilation of music including original works, pop hits and rock ‘n roll. Funds raised will benefit cancer research through the Brian Werbel Memorial Fund at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center.

The Brian Werbel Memorial Fund was established to honor the memory of Brian, who passed away on May 7, 2007 at the age of 29. The mission of the fund is to advance clinical research on cancer-related initiatives, an area in which Brian was deeply involved. Betsy Werbel’s performance of John Lennon’s “Imagine” in honor of her brother brought a standing ovation. It was both touching and a reminder of why we all came out to support the event.

Jennifer Dinoia and cast © Monica Simoes

Betsy Werbel was joined by Tony Award nominee Adam Pascal, Shoshana Bean (Wicked), Titus Burgess (The Little Mermaid), Matt Bogart (Jersey Boys)  Lisa Howard (Priscilla Queen of the Desert), Richard H. Blake (Legally Blonde), Jennifer DiNoia (Wicked), Marty Thomas (Xanadu), Adinah Alexander (The Wedding Singer), Jeremy Kushnier (Jesus Christ Superstar), Kate Pfaffl (War Horse), and Ben Liebert (Wicked).

The doors to the event opened at 7 p.m.. The night started off with a cocktail hour, and performances started a little after 8 p.m. with Adam Pascal’s rendition of Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind” and adequately ended with a group performance of U2’s.

The UH Seidman Cancer Center is part of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center at Case Wester Reserve University. After opening a 120 bed freestanding cancer hospital in June 2011, it is dedicated to innovative treatments and research.

 For more information on the Brian Werbel Memoral Fund, visit: www.uhgiving.org/ImagineNewYork.


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