Rockin' for Research

Saturday, Nov 23, 2002

by Catherine Barr

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THEY were raising the roof last Saturday at the Plaza of Nations as Rockin' for Research took over Enterprise Hall to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The event, which first started three years ago at the Commodore Ballroom, is backed by music manager Lou Blair and talent agent Bruce Allen. The dynamic duo was responsible for the discovery of many local legends including eighties pop band Loverboy who rocked the rafters last year along with Jann Arden. Loverboy's lead guitar player, Paul Dean happily lends his presence to this good cause as his son suffers from diabetes. This year however the boys in the band sat this one out leaving the entertaining to young Stephen Kabakos, a very impressive Elvis tribute artist, who took the crowd through the different stages of Elvis' career. Riley Ing, from the Temptations, almost stole the show by inviting up three tuxedo clad gentlemen to shake their stuff on stage. The most poignant moment of the night still belonged to little eight-year-old Sierra Swaisland, daughter of auctioneer Ken Swaisland. In a strange twist of fate, little Sierra was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes just 12 hours before her father took to the podium last year. This year, she stood alone on stage, looking radiant in a beautiful lavender gown, and told an audience of 500+ how her life has changed over this past year. The applause, tears, cheers and smiles pretty much said it all.

PICT0009 Loverboy's lead singer Mike Reno (left) and guitar player Paul Dean were among the presenters at Rockin' for Research.

Dan McLeod (left) and Yolanda Stepien.

Rock and roll hall-of-famer Red Robinson was a gracious host and MC.

PICT0012 Jacquie Swaisland was super proud of little eight-year-old daughter Sierra who spoke to the crowd about her diabetes which was diagnosed just one year ago.
PICT0013 Fighting diabetes on behalf of their son were Dr. Paul Sabiston and his wife Cathie.
PICT0014 They're still the most romantic couple in town. Broadcasting personality Dave Abbott and wife Diane Forsythe.
PICT0015 They discovered the band Loverboy and a whole lot more. Lou Blair (left) and agent Bruce Allen know talent when they see it.
PICT0021 Riley Ing, a bonafide member of the Temptations, took to the stage inviting members of the audience to come up and dance.

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