April 27 - 29, 2018 / The Greenbrier - America's Resort / White Sulphur Springs, WV

The Gala

Mark your calendars now for the WVU Cancer Institute’s 33rd Annual Spring Gala to be held April 27-29, 2018, at The Greenbrier – America’s Resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.

This weekend-long signature event celebrates the Cancer Institute’s progressive efforts to improve the health of West Virginians through world-class cancer care.

Meet Your Chairs

Betty Puskar

When Ms. Puskar was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1985, West Virginia did not have the resources to aggressively combat this disease. She was forced to look out-of-state for treatment options. After beating cancer, she set her sights on creating a comprehensive breast care center for the women of West Virginia. In 1996, her vision became a reality when the Betty Puskar Breast Care Center opened its doors welcoming women from across the state. Today, the Breast Care Center provides the all-encompassing treatment and comprehensive expertise in the field of breast health she envisioned.

Along with her philanthropic role, Ms. Puskar speaks to the women of West Virginia about breast cancer and breast health. She has sponsored such beloved fundraisers as the Betty Puskar Futures LPGA Golf Tournament, the Betty Puskar Breast Care Center WVU Women’s Soccer Invitational, and the Betty Puskar Breast Care Center Fashion Show, which enjoyed a 15-year run.

Ms. Puskar’s efforts do not stop with the Breast Care Center, as she is also a strong supporter of the MBRCC, serving on the Visiting Committee. With her spirit and drive to improve the lives of West Virginia women, it is easy to see how she acquired the moniker “the First Lady of Morgantown.”

Barbara Alexander McKinnney

Barbara was born and raised in Morgantown, WV with her six brothers and sisters, and she is the daughter of John and Cecilia Alexander. She is a 1977 WVU graduate and has been committed to the university ever since. She and her husband Carlton McKinney, Jr. were named Power Couples of North Central West Virginia. They live in Bruceton Mills, WV and Duck Key, FL with their Chesapeake Bay retriever, Jackson.

Barbara entered the real estate field in 1981 and today owns Howard Hanna Premier Properties. As broker/owner of the company, Barb contributes to her profession through involvement in numerous committees, associations, and boards. Barbara’s passion for community involvement stems from experiences that have touched her life, her friends’ lives, and her family’s. Barbara currently serves on the Leadership Council for the Children’s and Women’s Hospital, the WVU Cancer Institute’s Leadership Council, WVU Cancer Gala committee, and she is honored to serve as the 33rd Annual Spring Gala Co-Chair. Her involvement with the Cancer Institute began many years ago as she joined to honor her friend, Betty Puskar, in her fundraising efforts for the Betty Puskar Breast Care Center. Barbara is grateful for this opportunity to serve alongside her lifelong friend, Betty Puskar, in the efforts to fight for top notch cancer care here in West Virginia.

A Special
Thank You

2018 Honorary Chairs

WVU President E. Gordon Gee and Laurie Erickson

The 2018 Gala Committee

  • Genie Barnhart
  • Angie Blankenship
  • Devanna Corley
  • Diane Dailey
  • Lindsay Flanagan
  • Meredith German
  • Ross German
  • Julie Gurtis
  • Kyle Hess
  • Emily Lyons
  • Donna Mazzei
  • David McCormick, Jr.
  • Holly Metz
  • Corey Palumbo
  • Billy Pulice
  • Kathy Richards
  • Sharon Rowe
  • Anna Schultheis
  • Doug Skaff
  • Sara Smith
  • Joan Stamp
  • Jo Statler
  • Lydotta Taylor
  • Matthew Veith
  • Ashley Vickers
  • Jason Zuccari

The 2018 Leadership Council

  • William Bright
  • James Chamberlain
  • Diane Dailey
  • Gregory Darby
  • Jenny Dinsmore
  • Meredith German
  • Diane Lewis-Jackson
  • David McCormick, Jr.
  • Barbara Alexander McKinney
  • Mary McKinley
  • William Pulice
  • Betty Puskar
  • Phil Reale
  • Kathleen Richards
  • Sharon Rowe
  • Alison Bibbee
  • Joan Stamp
  • Jo Statler
  • Shirley Weaver

Special Guests

Chef Bill Peet

Bill Peet came to Tavern on the Green in 2016 as their Executive Chef with over 35 years of New York City fine dining experience.

During his extensive career, he has worked in some very iconic restaurants. Bill spent 15 years as Sous Chef and Pastry Chef at the legendary Lutèce with André Soltner. Following his departure from Lutèce, Bill was the Chef/Owner of a critically acclaimed restaurant – La Petite Rose. He has also held the positions of Corporate Executive Chef with ARK Restaurant Group, overseeing 28 restaurants and Executive Chef at many renowned restaurants such as Asia de Cuba, Café des Artistes, Patroon & Restaurant “44” at the Royalton Hotel.

Inspired by the reputation of New York City’s most iconic restaurant – Tavern on the Green, this is the perfect match with his experience.

Mark Bowe

Mark Bowe, host of DIY Network’s Barnwood Builders, worked his way through West Virginia University as a coal miner, earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He is a craftsman, a businessman, a historian, and a passable break-dancer (if you give him enough room).

Mark also holds a master’s degree in safety management from WVU’s College of Business. He founded his company, Antique Cabins and Barns, in 1995. In 2016 he expanded that business into what is today known as Barnwood Living. He and his longtime crew have reclaimed more than 500 pioneer-era structures. Mark is passionate about honoring the craft of America’s pioneer ancestors and is devoted to ensure their hard work lives for centuries to come.

Joan Stamp

Creativity has always been very satisfying to Joan. Over the years she has worked and experimented with various mediums of arts and crafts, including pottery, quilting, cross-stitch, watercolor, and oil painting. She has also taught needlepoint and jewelry making. Beading allowed her to explore an interest in fashion and accessories and to create one of a kind jewelry for herself. Joan has been beading for about 10 years and, at the encouragement of her interior designer, began her business and selling her designs.

Joan’s work uses high-quality materials including semiprecious stones, pearls, and precious metals gathered throughout her travels across the country and abroad. Mixing textures and colors, as well as natural elements with her own handmade silver beads, she seeks to create fashion forward pieces with unexpected details. In many of her pieces she explores asymmetry, which adds a unique and elegant flair to even the simplest design. It gives her great pleasure not only to create the pieces but also to see her customers wearing and enjoying them.