American Cancer Society Hosts 55th Annual Picnic Under the Stars

Route 66-themed evening raises $400K to fund cancer research, education and quality-of-life programs and services.

More than 500 “stars” attended the 55th annual Picnic Under the Stars gala April 2 at the newly renovated Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch to support the American Cancer Society. The fundraising event is one of the longest continuously held events in the Valley, beginning in Barry Goldwater’s backyard in 1962 with chair Mrs. Robert Goldwater. This year’s event raised $400,000 to support the American Cancer Society, funding lifesaving cancer research, education and outreach, and quality of life programs and services in Arizona.

The retro, Route 66-themed evening began with entertainment by local cover band Nineball, a silent auction that included spa services, jewelry and tickets to Adele’s sold-out Phoenix concert, hors d’oeuvres and cocktails.

The evening recognized Carole Zbacnik, managed care director for Sonora Quest Laboratories, for her contributions to saving lives from cancer in the community. Zbacnik welcomed attendees to the “Celebrations of 5s,” as the evening marked the 55th year of the gala and her fifth anniversary being cancer-free.

“Auctiontainer” Letitia Frye led the evening’s live auction while guests dined on a multi-course meal that included chili rubbed filet with ancho chili demi glaze and grilled tequila lime blackened spiced jumbo shrimp. The paddle raise garnered donations to support the American Cancer Society free programs and services available to cancer patients in Arizona, including Look Good Feel Better, Road to Recovery, Hope Lodge and patient lodging, among others.

Courtney Bannard and Dr. Linda Greer co-chaired the evening. Sponsors included Sonora Quest Laboratories, HonorHealth, Dignity Health and the University of Arizona Cancer Center, Dr. Ingrid Haas and Charlie Van Dyke, Money Radio 1510 AM, Phoenix Business Journal and Fox 10 Phoenix News.


7803- Dr. Ingrid Haas and Mr. Charlie Van Dyke crop copy

Dr. Ingrid Haas and Charlie Van Dyke; Peter Fine and Rebecca Ailes Fine

7297- Mr. Bob Zbacnik and Mrs. Carole Zbacnik, 2016 Honoree crop

Carole and Bob Zbacnik

7518- Mr. Jude LaCava, Fox 10 News, and Mrs. Jill LaCava crop copy

Jill and Jude LaCava; Ray Schey and Tracy Doren

7468- Co-Chair, Mrs. Courtney Bannard and husband Mr. Doug Bannard crop copy

Co-chair Courtney Bannard and her husband, Doug Bannard; Lee Courtney with her son, Chase Courtney

7582- Mr. Joe Gaudio and Mrs. Mary Gaudio crop copy

Mary and Joe Gaudio; Dave and Ruth Dexter

7340- Mrs. Lisa Shover- Kackley and Mr. Jerry Kackley crop

Lisa Shover Kackley and Jerry Kackley


gala crowd crop

Gala guests during the cocktail hour

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