Marilyn Monroe’s appearance at the Foundation’s “Art in Concert” event not only came as a huge surprise, but it kick-started a significant fundraising effort to support the new Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley Orthopedics and Sports Medicine program.
The event, held at Stambaugh Auditorium in Youngstown, drew 380 attendees and was presented by Denise DeBartolo York and John York.
Monroe – or more specifically an original canvas painting of her by world-renowned artist Michael Israel – was one of five pop culture icon-themed pieces of art he created on-site. Israel uses a unique style that’s part rock show and part performance art. Each canvas starts with seemingly random splashes of paint that ultimately merge into unique creations and likenesses of recognizable images, such as the Statue of Liberty, John Lennon, Albert Einstein and Super Boy; all of which he created that night.
Each piece was then auctioned off, with some going for as much as $19,000 each. More than $100,000 in total was raised at the event, and proceeds will be used to treat infants through young adults with a variety of orthopedic problems, ranging from simple fractures to sports injuries to complex orthopedic disorders requiring surgery.
“Michael Israel was a huge hit, and we were thrilled and fortunate to have him,” said JoAnn Stock, director of development for Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley. “He’s truly a one-of-a-kind artist and performer, and the money raised from his fantastic artwork will end up benefitting many children in need in the Mahoning Valley.”
Other major event sponsors included Handel’s Ice Cream, Comprehensive Logistics, Eddy and Candy DeBartolo and Family, Chris and Ed Muransky and The Muransky Companies, and VEC Inc.