2013 Taste Events


scottsdaleScottsdale, AZ
Awareness Day

On Saturday, April 6th, the Scottsdale, AZ SPOHNC Chapter Support group was welcomed by Dr. Yu, of Brighton Dental Health in Chandler, AZ . Scottsdale co-facilitators Les Norde and Christine Henderson, hosted a SPOHNC table, and did a fine job of distributing SPOHNC literature, bracelets, early detection cards and other materials to participants in the annual cancer walk sponsored by the Oral Cancer Foundation (OCF.  The table was a busy spot at the event, where attendees were encouraged to visit the SPOHNC website, find out about our programs, and attend a SPOHNC Chapter Support group meeting.

100 walkers and some of their 4 legged friends participated, and there was a significant dental professional presence including dentists, hygienists, assistants and students. The purpose of the walk was to increase awareness of oral cancer and to raise funds for research through the OCF.  Activities at the walk included free oral cancer screenings, oral cancer survivor speakers, food, drinks, music and the 5K walk. 

It was a wonderful day in Scottsdale, and many new friends were made!


scottsdalePalm Coast, FL
Awareness Day

Twice a week, for an hour, the Village Center at Grand Haven in Palm Coast, Florida, transforms into a workout dance party led by Amy and Lewis Beilman. The Beilman’s, Co-facilitators of one of our newest SPOHNC Chapter Support groups, in Palm Coast Florida, recently held a special event called “Move to Music” during Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month. The event was held to inspire movement and physical fitness, while raising funds to support the outreach programs and mission of SPOHNC.

On April 13th, Move to Music, which is usually only open to Grand Haven residents, opened its class to the Beilman’s SPOHNC Chapter Support group members as well. Many friends and supporters attended, and enjoyed the aerobics workout which is designed so that men and women 30-80 years old can follow along. Thanks to the Beilman’s enthusiasm and creativity, the routine packs a punch.

scottsdaleFor Amy and Lewis, the class participants are an inspiration. Lewis Beilman is an oral cancer survivor, and while the enthusiasm of the class is contagious, one particular inspiration to him is Marge Budzinski, 84, a cancer survivor, who never misses a beat. “This is a healing spot for an hour, twice a week,” said Lewis.

Amy commented …“SPOHNC was so helpful to Lewis and me when Lewis had his throat cancer,”. “They are not as well-known as some cancer groups, so anything that would raise awareness for them is helpful.”

Kudos to their energy and enthusiasm, and for inspiring others to “Move to Music”! The Beilman’s event raised significant funds to enable SPOHNC to continue its mission of helping oral, head and neck cancer patients, caregivers, survivors and family members.

We can’t wait til 2014!


scottsdaleChicago, IL
Annual Taste Event

University of Chicago, Loyola University Medical Center & North Shore University Health System - 4th Annual Tasting Event 2013

It was a wonderful evening of culinary delights, laughter, joy and most of all friendship and solidarity when over seventy patients, their significant others, Dr. Brockstein, Dr. Campbell, Dr. Bhayani from NorthShore, Dr. Cheryl M. Czerlanis from Loyola, Sahar Hartsock PA, Jade Distajo RN, Pam Murano RN, social workers and other staff enjoyed SPOHNC Chicago’s 4th Annual Tasting Event together. Dr. Brockstein from NorthShore was a gracious host and welcomed everyone with open arms and mingled with each one. Funds raised at the event will support SPOHNC’s outreach programs and its mission.

The Tasting Event was held at Gilda’s Club downtown Chicago on Tuesday, April 16th, and it was wonderful to see some of the same faces and also meet new people and discover more about each one of them.

The food was out of this world, with specially selected items such as famous hummus and pita from Phoenicia in Highland Park, favorite little Italy Penne Pasta from Prairie Moon in Evanston, delicious Red Beans and Rice and Cornbread from Dixie Kitchen in Evanston, vanilla minis from Andy’s Frozen Custard in Evanston, Cinnamon Crème cakes from Corner Bakery Old Orchard in Skokie, wonderful Crème Brule from Whole Foods in Chicago, salads from Armand’s in Elmwood Park, Meatballs/Sauce from Jimmy’s Restaurant in Forest Park, cheese Macaroni from Kevil’s Restaurant in Forest Park, special dish “Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes” from well-known chef Jeff Morano from Palos Hills, Cajun Macaroni from Winberries Bistro in Oak Park, Lentil Soup from Cedars Mediterranean in Chicago and pizzas from Homemade Pizza in Chicago.

After our guests enjoyed some time together, and some tasty dishes, a raffle drawing followed, with some amazing prizes including SPOHNC T-shirts, cookbooks, nutrition guides, and some especially popular items - books donated by Chicago area chef and oral cancer survivor, Grant Aschatz . “Life, on the Line: A Chef's Story of Chasing Greatness, Facing Death, and Redefining the Way We Eat” and two cookbooks with recipes from his famous restaurant, Alinea. Addditional popular prizes included restaurant gift cards from Rosebud, The Cellar, Stained Glass, Corner Bakery, Lulu’s, Taco Diablo, Panera Bread, a coupon book by Le Peep and 4 Cubs tickets donated by one of North Shore’s Life coordinators.

All in attendance enjoyed a wonderful evening together sharing a meal, and forming new friendships and bonds of survivorship and inspiration.


scottsdaleKansas City, KS
Annual Taste Event

On April 24, 2013 SPOHNC’s Kansas City, Kansas Chapter support group held their 4th Annual Tasting Event, entitled Culinary Creations from Soup to Dessert at The University of Kansas Cancer Center. The event was designed to raise awareness of oral, head and neck cancer, and to raise funds for SPOHNC and its mission of meeting the needs of oral and head and neck cancer patients, through its programs of emotional and psychosocial support for patients, caregivers and families.

Guests in attendance learned more about oral, head and neck cancer from Sherin Kamal Fetouh, M.D., University of Kansas Cancer Center Specialist in Oncology Rehabilitation. Dr. Fetouh spoke about restoring and improving patients’ function and quality of life, as well as other issues related to diagnosis and treatment.

In the Atrium of the University of Kansas, Richard and Annette Bloch Cancer Care Pavilion, guests were invited to enjoy samplings of food and beverages from Carlo’s Copa Room, Cinzetti’s Italian Market Restaurant, DiCapo’s Italian Cookies, Johnny’s BBQ, Long Horn Steakhouse, O’Neill’s Restaurant & Bar, Panera Bread, The Roasterie, Smoothie King and Unity Inn at Unity Village with Chefs Tim Clark and Michael Willett, who demonstrated their culinary expertise by cooking up some delicacies for those who came to enjoy an evening of fine fare and good company.

The 4th Annual Kansas City event was a lovely evening, and was well attended by patients, survivors, caregivers and friends and healthcare professionals as well – all of whom enjoyed the chance to share a lovely evening, while supporting and raising awareness of oral, head and neck cancer.


scottsdaleSPOHNC Long Island Chapters
Awareness and Tasting Event

Many SPOHNC chapters throughout the United States held special events to promote and raise awareness during Oral And Head And Neck Cancer Awareness Month. As April came to a close, the 3 Long Island, New York Chapters of SPOHNC (New Hyde Park, Stony Brook and Syosset) participated by hosting their 4th Annual “Tasting Event” where chefs from local restaurants throughout Long Island and Queens donated foods for a tasting, keeping the needs of oral, head and neck cancer patients and survivors in mind. The side effects from treatment can leave a survivor with swallowing difficulties that can change a person’s lifestyle forever.

The 4th Annual SPOHNC Long Island, New York Chapters Tasting Event raised significant funds through admission, raffle sales and a 50/50 raffle as well. The funds were donated to SPOHNC, to help support its mission of patient support and the outreach programs that patients and survivors rely upon.

scottsdaleWith close to 200 guests in attendance, the evening was a hit, with local SPOHNC Chapter members attending with their families and friends. There were several healthcare professionals in attendance as well. The room was buzzing with lively conversation, new friends made and old friendships renewed. Music was provided by Christina Coniglio, who generously donated her services in honor of a local group member and survivor who attended the event with her family.

Restaurants that participated included Culinary Sensations, Gramercy Tavern, Iavarone Café, Brass Rail, Stuart Thomas Manor and many others. More than 35 restaurants and bakeries donated delicious entrees, side dishes and desserts. There was such a variety to choose from – everything from pasta to soup to seafood and classic comfort foods. The dessert cafe quickly became a popular spot, full of sweet delights, where some attendees took advantage of the quieter setting and bistro-like atmosphere. One of the more unique desserts of the evening, shaved ices, was placed in a paper cone from an old fashioned ice cart owned by the Kona Kart company.

More than 120 raffle prizes ranging from books and baskets, to LCD TV’s, restaurant gift certificates, luggage and Mets tickets, were a popular part of the evenings festivities as excited winners collected their goodies, large and small. The 50/50 raffle was a popular feature this year as well, won by a healthcare professional who treats oral, head and neck cancer patients.

Patients, survivors, family, friends and healthcare professionals were treated to an evening of delectable dishes, laughter and conversation. There was lots of excitement in the air, and a good time was had by all!


Rochester, NY
Annual Taste Event

Thursday April 18th, 2013 was a wonderful evening for SPOHNC’s Rochester, New York Chapter, as they celebrated April Awareness Month with their very own Tasting Event for Patients & Families to Celebrate Oral, Head & Neck Cancer Survivors.

Featuring complimentary food samples from local restaurants, guests were also treated to something extra special, as oral, head and neck cancer survivor and pianist, Vincent Salvadge, “tickled the ivories” to entertain those in attendance…music to the ears of those who joined together to celebrate survivorship.

Following Vincent’s wonderful performance, the dinner was a delightful selection of entrees, soups and desserts donated by local restaurants and bakeries. No one left hungry, for certain as there was a large variety to please any palate!

Special Guests for the evening included Democrat & Chronicle Food Writer Karen Miltner, and Dr. Shawn Newlands, Chair of Otolaryngology at the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center, University of Rochester Medical Center.

SPOHNC Chapter Facilitator Sandra Sabatka was very pleased with the outcome of the evening, and the group is already excited about the possibilities that April Awareness Month will bring for 2014.


scottsdaleCleveland, OH
Celebrate Food and Life

The Cleveland SPOHNC group held our second annual Celebrate Food & Life! event on Sunday April 14th. The American Cancer Society once again allowed us to use their facility to host our special event. Celebrate doubles as a Taste event and Health & Wellness Fair.

Local chefs and restaurants graciously donated food samples and their time to show patients and families food options that might be agreeable to those going through treatment or in recovery. We even had a support group member and her husband host a table. Delicious, nutritious and informative for our guests!

A roomful of wellness professionals from our area hospital systems, cancer organizations and health businesses gave an afternoon of their time to provide information and advice for patients and families to assist with enduring and recovering from the cancer treatments. Highly educational indeed!

We invited our strolling violinist back for a second year and she provided wonderful music and entertainment for our guests once again. Very entertaining!

And yet the best part of our event is the camaraderie of patients and families gathering together from throughout the Cleveland area and from different hospital systems sharing stories of challenges, hope and healing and making friendships that will hopefully lessen the burden that cancer can be.

We truly Celebrate Food & Life!


scottsdaleNashville, TN
Awareness Day

"Snackin, Yackin, and Photographin," was hosted during April Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Month by SPOHNC’s Nashville Tennessee Chapter. All in attendance enjoyed some great food for "snackin", and there were plenty of soft food items to accommodate those in the group who experience swallowing difficulties following treatment for oral, head and neck cancer. Yummy ice cream from Maggie Moo's, healthy and delicious soups from Whole Foods and many other homemade items including mac-n-cheese, banana pudding and chocolate éclairs rounded out the fabulous selection at the Nashville event, where desserts are apparently very popular!

There was also some great "Yackin"! Group “regulars" attend the Tasting Event, along with several new attendees and their caregivers. As always, the group offered encouragement, support and hope to one another while enjoying a meal together.

A group "regular" said, of meeting a newly diagnosed gentleman "...we are getting together for breakfast tomorrow to discuss our common adventure. It is good to help others along the way. Thanks for giving us a place to come and meet one another.” A new group member exclaimed "I just want to say that the tasting event and meeting the people we did, made the 4 hour round trip worth it!” Even though the "snackin" was pretty darn good, the "yackin" is always the best part!

One of the SPOHNC Chapter attendees suggested a survivor group photo – hence, the “Photographin". This inspiring photo of oral, head and neck cancer SURVIVORS has been distributed to Gilda's Club and to ENT, radiation oncology and medical oncology offices in the Nashville area,to be a source of encouragement and inspiration to newly diagnosed head and neck cancer patients.

It was a very special evening for all of us, and we look forward to next year as we continue to raise awareness and help and inspire newly diagnosed patients, their families and friends.


scottsdaleDallas, TX
Screening and Awareness Day

Dental Oncology Professionals of North Texas partnered with Support for People with Oral, Head and Neck Cancer (SPOHNC) and the Oral Cancer Foundation to provide a FREE Oral Cancer Screening and Awareness Day in North Texas. Saturday April 15th brought our friends from SPOHNC, Dallas at Baylor Medical Center and Irving-Coppell, TX to the screening, where Dr. Abbott and his staff were able to screen 22 of the over 50 SPOHNC members, caregivers and community at large. 

Event attendees were also treated to a complimentary tasting of recipes from Eat to Defeat Cancer™, an evidence-based, global campaign to crush the cancer epidemic by getting people to eat foods that starve cancer. Eattodefeat.org is a resource hub for the community to inspire, influence, and monitor dietary behavior change.

Dental Oncology Professionals featured materials and literature from various organizations that promote awareness of oral and head and neck cancer. We welcomed SPOHNC, the DentalEZ Group, Oral Cancer Foundation, Oral Head and Neck Cancer Alliance, Xclear, Inc., Treatment Diaries, 360 Massage, and Baylor Health Care System. 

The Screening and Awareness Day was a great opportunity to continue to generate awareness of oral and head and neck cancer to North Texas, while allowing our survivors, patients and their families the chance to support and celebrate their individual journey. 

Special thanks to SPOHNC Chapter Facilitators Dan Stack and Jack Mitchell, for helping us coordinate the event. We're looking forward to the next one! 


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