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2008 Taste of the Towns Fundraising Gala Brings out the Stars

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Mablean Ephriam
The stars don't only come out at night... but they will be out for an unforgettable afternoon at The Arthritis Foundation-Inland Empire's annual fundraising gala. "The 2008 Taste of the Towns" takes place Sunday, October 5th from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Riverside Convention Center. This star-studded event takes place on the outside plaza area at 3443 Orange St. in historic downtown Riverside, Calif. This year's event promises to be a very memorable celebration, honoring the profession of Rheumatology and paying tribute to a Motown legend. An elite guest list will walk the red carpet including medical professionals, executive board members, sponsors and surprise celebrity guests.

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Melvin Franklin
This year, the Arthritis Foundation-Inland Empire, under the direction of Executive Director Catherine Grinnan, will be paying tribute to the late Melvin Franklin of the Grammy-award winning legendary Temptations (Godfather of Arthritis Foundation Committee member Natasha Ferguson). Franklin died in 1995 as a result of complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis. Franklin's widow, Kim English, will be in attendance for the honoring of her late husband.

The emcee of this gala affair will be none other than the Honorable Judge Mablean Ephriam, known for her stint as the judge on Twentieth Century Fox's "Divorce Court" show.

Judge Ephriam has been practicing law for over 20 years and has received numerous awards. Aside from law, she is a sought after public speaker, entrepreneur, mother and grandmother.

The incredible sounds of Temptations tribute band, The Five Tempting Men, will be performing hit songs from the Motown era. In addition, attendees will have a rare opportunity to witness local Riverside artist Greg Adamson paint live to music. The finished art piece will be auctioned to benefit the foundation.

An estimated 1.3 million Americans suffer from this debilitating disease, which is a chronic inflammatory disease of the joints (it affects adults and children). The 2008 Taste of the Towns is the Inland Empire's premier food and wine tasting event to help raise money for continued research and to assist patients who suffer from this disease. For more information call (951) 320-1540.

The Arthritis Foundation is the leading health organization addressing the needs of some 46 million Americans living with arthritis, one of the nation's leading causes of disability.

Founded in 1948 and headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., the Arthritis Foundation has multiple service points located throughout the country. The mission of the Foundation is to improve lives through leadership in the prevention, control and cure of arthritis and related diseases.

  • They are the largest private, not-for-profit contributor to arthritis research in the world, funding more than $380 million in research grants since 1948. Together, volunteers and staff have helped individuals take control of arthritis by: providing public health education pursuing public policy and legislation and conducting evidence-based programs to improve the quality of life for those living with arthritis.

Information about arthritis and the Arthritis Foundation is available 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week at 1-800- 283-7800 or on the Web at www.arthritis.org.

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