Dominick’s Hosts Dinner for Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Singing superstar Garth Brooks performed live at a benefit dinner to raise money for The Child Life Zone at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. The limited-seating event was held Nov. 9 at Michael Dominick’s Steakhouse at the Scottsdale Quarter.


The Child Life Zone is a program of the Teammates for Kids Foundation, which is Brooks’ charity. The organization generates funds to benefit children, focusing on health, education and inner-city outreach. The Zone is one of seven in the United States and provides a safe place for children in the hospital to get away from medical realities, a place where no needles and no treatments are allowed.


Teresa Boeger, director, Division of Family Centered Care, with Brooks and Bob Meyer, president and CEO of Phoenix Children's Hospital 


Arizona Cardinals player Mike Leach and former Phoenix Coyotes player (now management) Sean Burke as well as the Diamondbacks’ Baxter joined the country-western star for the evening. Sarah Krahenbuhl, community relations representative for the Suns, attended on the team’s behalf.


Dominick's owners wives, Jodi Mastro, left, and Brenda Mastro, right, join the eye black movement.


The event served as a soft launch for Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s “I’m a Teammate” eye black campaign, to kick off in early 2013. “I’m a Teammate” means everyone can be a teammate, from kids to donors, including companies such as Dominick’s which not only closed the restaurant Nov. 9 but also covered the overhead.


The night was also in memory of Michael Beninato, a Valley father who passed away in May after becoming suddenly ill with the flu. Beninato left behind his wife, Wendy, and their 7-year-old triplets.


As the former president and CEO of Springfield Service Corporation, now SPi Healthcare, Beninato was the catalyst behind the Garth Brooks event. The couple’s 7-year-old triplets spent months in the hospital after a premature birth. While Michael and Wendy felt they were going through so much, they saw other families and children in even worse situations. Years later, they knew exactly where they wanted to help.


A big hug for Wendy Beninato


“Michael wanted to do something meaningful; initially in the name of his late brother Sonny, and thought what Garth was doing to benefit Phoenix Children’s Hospital was amazing. We know how important these fundraising dollars are to PCH and to our Valley children. Mike passed away suddenly before this event was planned, so it is extra special that we are able to make his vision a reality. The evening is dedicated to Mike’s memory,” Wendy said.


Michael Beninato would have been proud: The event raised more than $1 million for The Child Life Zone.


At top: Garth Brooks with a young patient he met earlier in the day during his private tour of The Child Life Zone.



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