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Melissa McCracken
Executive Director

Ashley Drew
Events Manager - Arizona/Dallas

Carmen Herrera
Events Manager - Houston

Rachel Hancock
Administrative Assistant - Houston/Dallas


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Shari Ordog
Administrative Assistant


American Liver Foundation
4545 E. Shea Blvd., Suite 246
Phoenix, AZ 85028
602-953-1800 Tel
866-953-1800 Toll Free
602-953-1806 Fax


American Liver Foundation
39 Broadway, Suite 2700
New York, New York 10006
212-668-1000 Tel
212-483-8179 Fax

Home > Divisions > Desert Southwest > Chapter News & Updates

Division News & Updates



Flavors of Houston

The American Liver Foundation celebrated its 8th annual Flavors of Houston event presented by Salix Pharmaceuticals on Wednesday, September 18th at 6:00 p.m. at the Hilton Houston Post Oak Hotel. With the support of the guests, the event successfully raised over $126,000, our most raised ever, to support key efforts in carrying out the American Liver Foundation’s mission to find a cure for liver disease. Other sponsors included: National Gold Sponsor: Salix Pharmaceuticals, National Silver Sponsor: Merck Pharmaceuticals and Cru Classé Sponsors: Sonya & William A. Carpenter Jr., Kadmon Pharmaceuticals, Texas Children’s Hospital and Vertex.

Fifteen of Houston’s premier chefs created a unique gourmet evening for more than 190 guests in attendance. The chefs provided their own personal touch and ambiance with elaborate table décor and 5 course menu with wine pairings. Cooking tableside, chefs created personal experiences for their guests, interacting and sharing tips and tricks from the experts.

Not only did the evening allow guests to sample culinary delights, but there was also an opportunity to purchase live and silent auction items from coveted Houston artists, jewelers and designers as well as entertainment packages, travel options and more.

Flavors of Houston delivered a flavorful and memorable experience for all who attended. The sponsors, guests, volunteers and chef’s generosity and support are responsible for the continued growth and success of Flavors of Houston.

Co-chairman:
AJ Junnarkar, Red Dot Cuisine
http://www.reddotcuisine.com

Jason Schneider, Hilton Houston Post Oak
houstonpostoak.hilton.com

Participating Chefs:
Hytham Badr, Ristorante Cavour at Hotel Granduca
www.granducahouston.com

Nick Banaszak, 51Fifteen Restaurant & Lounge
www.51fifteen.com

Kevin Bryant, Eleven XI
http://www.elevenxihouston.com/

Christofer Dilan, abuso Catering co.
www.abusocatering.com

Antonio Galan, Lakeside Restaurant & Bar at La Torretta Lake Resort
http://www.latorrettalakeresort.com/prime-restaurant.aspx

Clinton Jackson, CJ's Masterpiece
http://cjaworkofart.wix.com/cjsmasterpiece

Jeff Boudreaux, Brasserie Max and Julie
http://www.caferabelais.com/Brasserie/

Brian McNamara, Jasper's
www.kentrathbun.com

Mark Gabriel Medina, Soma Sushi
http://www.somasushi.com/

Christopher Andrus, Sorrel Urban Bistro
sorrelhouston.com

Monica Pope, Sparrow Bar + Cookshop
sparrowhouston.com

Brian Robertson, The Steakhouse at the San Luis Hotel
http://www.sanluisresort.com/dining-entertainment/the-steakhouse/index.cfm

Andrés L. Rumis, Rosemary's Catering Houston
www.therkgroup.com



Flavors of Phoenix 2013

The American Liver Foundation celebrated its 22nd annual Flavors of Phoenix event presented by Mayo Clinic on Thursday, May 23, at 6:00 p.m. at The Westin Kierland Resort and Spa. With the support of the guests, the event successfully raised over $246,000 to support key efforts in carrying out the American Liver Foundation’s mission to find a cure for liver disease. Other sponsors include: Premier Cru Sponsor: Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, National Gold Sponsor: Salix Pharmaceuticals, National Silver Sponsor: Merck Pharmaceuticals and Grand Cru Classé Sponsor: Arizona Transplant Associates, PC.

Thirty four of Arizona’s premier chefs created a unique gourmet evening for more than 400 guests in attendance. The chefs provided their own personal touch and ambiance with elaborate table décor and 5 course menu with wine pairings. Cooking tableside, chefs created personal experiences for their guests, interacting and sharing tips and tricks from the experts.

Not only did the evening allow guests to sample culinary delights, but there was also an opportunity to purchase live and silent auction items from coveted Phoenix artists, jewelers and designers as well as entertainment packages, travel options and more.

The top seller of the exciting live auction was a private dinner and wine pairing for 20 guests prepared by 5 of the Valley’s top chefs: Chef Christopher Gross from Christopher’s Restaurant and Crush Lounge, Chef Matt Carter from Zinc Bistro, Chef Aaron May from Praying Monk Restaurant & Bar, Chef Beau MacMillan from elements at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa and Chef James Porter from Petite Maison. This unforgettable evening sold for an outstanding $5,500!

Another highlight of the live auction included a two-night, all inclusive stay at Canyon Ranch Health Resort in Tucson for 2 with a $270 service allowance per person, three healthy gourmet meals daily, healthy snacks, guided hikes, walks and biking excursions, daily selection of wellness presentations, workshops and cooking demonstrations, and health and fitness assessment.

Chef Marcellino’s dinner for 14 at his Famous Chef’s Island was also a top live auction seller. The package included an opportunity for two guests of the party to work alongside this Award Winning Chef in the Marcellino Ristorante kitchen to assist in prepping for the evening’s festivities and learn the secrets of Italian cuisine.

Flavors of Phoenix delivered a flavorful and memorable experience for all who attended. The sponsors, guests, volunteers and chef’s generosity and support are responsible for the continued growth and success of Flavors of Phoenix.

The 34 chefs were led by co-chairmen: Chef Christopher Gross, Christopher’s Restaurant and Crush Lounge, Chef Michael DeMaria, M Catering by Michael’s and Chef Chris Masco, The Westin Kierland Resort and Spa.

Other chefs included: Brian Archibald, Renaissance Phoenix Downtown; Jay Bogsinske, District American Kitchen & Wine Bar; Michael Cairns, Montelucia Resort & Spa; Matt Carter, Zinc Bistro; Brian Cooper, The Phoenician Resort & Spa; Chris Curtiss, BOURBON STEAK at Fairmont Scottsdale; Massimo De Francesca, Taggia Restaurant at the FireSky Resort & Spa; Anthony DeMuro, Different Pointe of View, Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort; Ron Dimas, Orange Sky at Talking Stick Resort; Chef Stephan Germanaud, Wrigley Mansion; Bryan Gorton, Wright’s at the Biltmore; Jose Hernandez, Coup Des Tartes; Eric Howson, Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch; Marc Lupino, Michael Dominick's Lincoln Avenue Prime Steakhouse; Beau MacMillan, elements at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa; Roberto Madrid, deseo; Aaron May, Praying Monk Restaurant and Bar; Mel Mecinas, Proof, an American Canteen at the Four Seasons Scottsdale; Don Molinich, enFuego, DoubleTree Resorts by Hilton Paradise Valley-Scottsdale; Christopher Nicosia, Sassi Restaurant; Jeremy Pacheco, LON’s at the Hermosa; James Porter, Petite Maison; Lenard Rubin, The Wigwam / Litchfield’s; Michael Rusconi, Rusconi’s American Kitchen; Silvana Salcido-Esparza, Barrio Café; Jadan Sheive, JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa – Tuscany; Eric Swartz, BLT Steak, JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa; Stephen Toevs, The Ritz-Carlton; Marcellino Verzino, Marcellino Ristorante; David Viviano, Province and Gregory Wiener, Top of the Rock at The Buttes Marriott Resort.



Liver Life Walk Houston 2013

The 4th Annual Houston Liver Life Walk 2013 raised more than $101,000 on Saturday, April 27th! This Walk is one of the most important events the American Liver Foundation hosts for patients, families and supporters.

The Walk was held at beautiful Terry Hershey Park and is a family and dog friendly event. Music, dancers, cheerleaders, mascots, face painting and clowns entertained crowds and built excitement for this 5k/1k walk.

Many walkers showed their support by wearing t-shirts honoring their friends and loved ones. The overall success of this event is credited to the walkers and Team Captains who worked so hard, from building teams to fundraising. The continued generosity and support from the Houston community keeps this event growing year after year.

Remember, the Liver Life Walk is only the beginning. Stepping across the finish line does not mean that the work toward ending liver disease is finished.

Kristen and Josh Hanks led the top team, Team Cooper, raising an outstanding $27,035! Team Walking For Brant came in second raising $5,000, Texas Children’s Hospital’s Team Leapin’ Livers came in third raising $3,542 and was also the top Medical Team, Team O’Banion came in fourth at $3,200 and Team Abby’s Angels came in fifth raising $2,945.

“We’re very excited about the response we’ve had this year,” said Desert Southwest Division Executive Director Melissa McCracken. “This event continues to grow. Thanks to everyone who participated in LiverLife Walk Houston 2013!

We look forward to the 5th Annual Liver Life Walk Houston 2014!”

Sponsors included: AcariaHealth, Genentech, Memorial Hermann Hepatology and Transplant, and The Methodist Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation.


Liver Life Walk Phoenix 2013

MOVING FORWARD...

…to a future free of liver disease. That is the goal of the American Liver Foundation® (ALF) and something they work towards every day. Participants of the 11th Annual Liver Life Walk® Phoenix presented by Mayo Clinic & Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center made a difference as they helped to keep ALF moving forward in the fight against one of America's fastest growing public health concerns -- liver disease.

The dog friendly Liver Life Walk was held on April 14, 2013 at Steele Indian School Park to help promote a healthy, active, liver-conscious lifestyle while raising money and awareness to help support liver awareness and disease prevention.

Approximately 800 participants enjoyed a sunny & rain-free morning in the Arizona sun with live entertainment, a dog-contest, snacks, shared family time, made new friends and reacquainted with old friends! As the official start time neared, walkers for the 5K and 1K gathered with their four legged companions at the balloon arch for the countdown to begin. With the finish line in sight, walkers were greeted by friendly faces and sounds of cheer!

Remember, the Walk is only the beginning...

Stepping across the finish line does not mean the efforts toward ending liver disease is finished. The American Liver Foundation will continue to accept Walk donations until September 30, 2013 in an effort to reach their goal of $133,000.

The American Liver Foundation would like to thank participants, sponsors and volunteers for their dedication, time, energies, talents and contributions to raise awareness of liver disease and for being part of the Liver Life Walk Phoenix 2013. Together, over $128,000 has been raised to-date!

Congrats to Banner Good Samaritan for winning the Top Medical Team Travelling Trophy!

We would also like to recognize the Sneaker Award Winners from walk day:

Top Walker: Melissa McCracken
Top New Team: Team Mahoney
Most Spirited Team: Team Theresa
Most Registered Walkers: Phoenix Children's Hospital GI


The mission of American Liver Foundation (ALF) is to facilitate, advocate and promote education, support and research for the prevention, treatment and cure of liver disease.

Page updated: February 25th, 2014