As reported by the Litchfield County Times, May 21, 2009.

A Woodbury Fundraiser Has an Arnaz as Headliner

By Daniela Forte

WOODBURY - Cures for insidious diseases may emerge from hyper-sterile research labs, but who says the path to freedom from fear and illness shouldn't also be paved with fun, laughter and fine living?

A group of well-dressed individuals dedicated to finding the cure for cancer will soon gather for the second annual Broadway in the Hills event at the Woodbury home of Dr. Peter Zilahy, a chiropractor, and his wife, Sharon.

"In these challenging times, we feel compelled to step up to the plate for cancer research," said Mrs. Zilahy of the inspiration behind a gala that is scheduled for June 14, from 4 to 7 p.m. "The money that we raise will be used to bring innovative ideas to cancer treatment."

The headliner this year is Lucie Arnaz, the actress, singer, dancer and Emmy Award-winning producer. The daughter of actors Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Ms. Arnaz lives in Westport and has volunteered with the American Cancer Society for a year, often hosting events.

Held outdoors, Broadway in the Hills is a cabaret style affair and features musical performances by Broadway singers and actors, including Bethel resident Terry Eldh, Ted Keegan, Eric Scott Kincaid and pianist Stephen Sulich.

"This event is really a recognition event. We are hoping to raise awareness, and we want to recognize progress made in cancer research, as well as to recognize those who have made significant contributions," said Wendy Matthews, a major gifts officer for the American Cancer Society.

Last year, the event raised $26,000 toward funding a post-doctoral researcher in a program whose annual cost is $138,000.

The volunteer committee organizing the event includes Robin Sousa of Woodbury, Danielle Shaker of Woodbury and Faith L'Heureux of Middlebury.

Speakers include Dr. John Taylor, an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Connecticut's School of Medicine in the division of urology, and Dr. Gina Carter, a national American Cancer Society Volunteer from Massachusetts.

Dr. Taylor who is also chairman of the cancer committee at the Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, was awarded $513,000 grant from the American Cancer Society to fund his ongoing research on bladder cancer.

"I will discuss the issues regarding bladder cancer and some of the possible causes and treatments. I will discuss the importance not only of my work but cancer research in general," said Dr. Taylor in an e-mail.

The award Dr. Taylor received is officially known as The American Cancer Society New England Division Mentored Research Scholar Grant, and over five years, it totals $729,000.

Dr. Taylor said progress in cancer research is occurring at a rapid pace. "With the current research tools available today it is quite conceivable that we could 'cure' or at least improve the care and survival of patients with cancer," said Dr. Taylor.

"This research, however, comes at a financial cost. Federal research dollars are particularly hard to come by in this economy. The [American Cancer Society] and its donors are critical to continuing the rapid pace of progress that is happening daily," said Dr. Taylor.

Ms. Matthews stressed that thanks this year go to Cly-Del Manufacturing of Waterbury and the Garthwait family, who are the spotlight donors.

The American Cancer Society Research Program is the nation's largest private funder of cancer research. American Cancer Society funds scientists with cutting edge ideas that have led to many breakthroughs in cancer treatment and 42 of the these researchers have gone on to win the Nobel Prize for the their work, including 11 from New England.

The Broadway in the Hills Committee is asking for a minimum of $150 per person. Leadership giving opportunities are available. For more information about the event, contact Ms. Matthews at 203-563-1525 or by e-mail at wendy.matthews@cancer.org.