‘An Evening of Classic Lily Tomlin’ Sept. 28 benefits Beaumont


Beaumont Health System is hosting "An Evening of Classic Lily Tomlin," on to benefit the health system's Digestive Health Center of Excellence in the treatment, education and research of Crohn's and colitis.

The one-night event will feature actress and comedian Lily Tomlin performing at The Berman Center for the Performing Arts in West Bloomfield. The fundraiser will be hosted by FOX 2 TV's Roop Raj and conclude with a dessert reception.

General admission tickets are $150 and will include the theater performance and dessert reception. Tickets can be purchased online at theberman.org or by calling The Berman Center for the Performing Arts box office at 248-661-1900. The Berman Center is located at 6600 W. Maple Road in West Bloomfield. Theater doors open at 7:30 p.m. Suggested dress is cocktail attire.

Proceeds from the Lily Tomlin performance will benefit Crohn's and ulcerative colitis treatment programs offered through Beaumont's Digestive Health Center of Excellence.

Says executive committee member Maureen Safian of West Bloomfield, "Like many, our lives have been touched by inflammatory bowel disease. The Lynchs and Safians have children who were diagnosed with Crohn's disease before the age of 10. We are intimately familiar with the medical, social and psychological challenges of living with IBD. We also recognize the importance of allowing those with IBD to remain functional and independent, without physical or psychological limitations."

According to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America, Crohn's disease is one condition that is part of a group called inflammatory bowel diseases. Ulcerative colitis is another IBD. Together, the two are the most common inflammatory bowel diseases. While symptoms of the two diseases are similar, they usually affect different areas. Crohn's can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, usually the small bowel, and ulcerative colitis affects the large intestine, also called the colon.

"IBD is characterized by chronic, intermittent inflammation of the GI tract," explains James Lynch, M.D., chief, Colon and Rectal Surgery and physician-in-chief, Beaumont Hospital, Troy. "Both Crohn's and ulcerative colitis result in an abnormal response by the body's immune system. While both conditions can be managed, there are presently no cures for these diseases and they commonly require a lifetime of care. Both dramatically affect the quality of life for more than 47,000 Michigan residents, young and old."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the causes of IBD are unknown, but thought to involve genetic, immunologic and environmental factors. IBD occurs more in people of Caucasian and Ashkenazic Jewish origin than in other racial and ethnic subgroups.

After high school, Detroit native Lily Tomlin enrolled at Wayne State University to study medicine, but her elective courses in theater arts compelled her to leave college to become a performer in local coffee houses. She has since found incredible success in film, television and theater. In 2003, she was the recipient of the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor presented at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Tomlin's entire career in art, text, photos and videos can be found at www.lilytomlin.com.

Along with tickets, event sponsorship opportunities are also available. For sponsorship information, contact Janice Crawford at the Beaumont Foundation: 248-551-5317 or jcrawford@beaumont.edu.

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