Sock hop filled with hope, hip clothes

Dr. Ivy Peterson Mark Pillers

Poodle skirts and vintage letter jackets were hip again briefly during American Cancer Society Hope Lodge's fifth annual Evening of Hope.

This year's event, held April 26 at Somerby Golf Club in Byron, was a 1950s-style sock-hop theme. About 150 people attended.

"People had a lot of fun with it. Everyone was all dressed up in '50s garb," said Mallory Wiltshire, distinguished events specialist with the American Cancer Society.

Even the fundraising total kept with the '50s theme: A record-breaking $50,000 was raised for Hope Lodge, a home for out-of-town cancer patients undergoing treatment in Rochester.

The lodge offers a home-like environment, with a community dining room, kitchens, family rooms, a library and laundry facilities. The lodge offers a variety of cancer-related programs and services.


The Evening of Hope event, led by Diane Chafoulias, a member of the board of the ambassador committee, took people back in time even before they entered the building. About 20 antique cars were parked outside.

Inside the ballroom was a motorcycle, with which guests posed for pictures that were given to them as a take-home party favor.

The dance floor was filled with people doing the Lindy, the Twist and the Jitterbug. If you didn't know how the dance steps, Fred Astaire dancer instructors were there to teach you.

The food, inspired by '50s diners, included upscale chicken and beef tenderloin sandwich baskets served with fries and coleslaw.

Several of the live, silent and online auction items also had a classic feel, including a jukebox and a vintage broach pin.

Lou Grimaldi, a longtime cancer society volunteer, received the Spirit of Hope award. Grimaldi has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the organization and served in leadership roles, including leading the overall fundraising program and becoming the county president.

From the time the Hope Lodge project was introduced in Rochester, Grimaldi was key in securing many of the vital needs of the Lodge, even offering his staff's time, from Slumberland Furniture, and equipment to deliver and assemble furniture.

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