Chef Sam Choy Luau a Success for Stillwater Cancer Center

The word LUAU printed on clothespin clipped cards in front of defocused glowing lights.

Hawaii’s Culinary Ambassador and renowned restaurateur, Chef Sam Choy, served as the guest chef for the Stillwater Medical Foundation’s Luau Gala held at the ConocoPhillips OSU Alumni Center on Saturday, November 19, 2016. Nearly 270 guests enjoyed the festive theme and décor of Click Hall sharing in Chef Choy’s enthusiasm for our 50th state’s amazing island cuisine while experiencing his flair for cooking first-hand.

Approximately 100 VIP level sponsors were treated to an exclusive reception prior to cocktail hour. During the VIP reception guests had the opportunity to visit with Chef Choy, have a commemorative photo made with him and received one of the chef’s 15 authored cookbooks. Chef Choy autographed each edition as a special gift for being a major sponsor supporting the Stillwater Cancer Center.

“My family has known Chef Choy for approximately 10 years, so when the committee and board agreed we’d like to try a chef dinner, I knew the first person we would want to invite was Chef Sam,” said Luau event co-chair, Ann Morgan.  “After losing his mother to cancer, this effort and cause was important to him.”

The annual dinner with live and silent auctions raised approximately $105,000, which has been dedicated to the Stillwater Cancer Center expansion project. The Stillwater Cancer Center is undergoing an $8 million renovation including a 7,000 square foot expansion making it north central Oklahoma’s finest cancer treatment solution.

“Chef Choy’s island style meal and our live auction exceeded even my expectations. We were thrilled to have the chef join us from Hawaii and grateful to Leo and Sharon Schmitz of Skiatook, for working with American Airlines to help cover the expense of bringing the chef into Stillwater,” said Luau chairperson, Dolores Lemon. “I’ve received several compliments on the caliber of this year’s event and we’ve been thrilled with the outcome.”

Citizens from across north central Oklahoma benefit from every penny re-invested in Stillwater Medical and it is fulfilling to Leo and Sharon Schmitz. They were both recognized at the Chef Choy event as both were injured in the homecoming parade tragedy last fall. Leo was critically injured and they viewed this event as an opportunity to give back to Stillwater. Leo suffered multiple serious injuries including a brain injury and the loss of his left leg in the crash. He was hospitalized from October 24, 2015 until Jan. 6, 2016, enduring approximately 20 surgeries. Leo now goes out of his way to visit amputee victims, encouraging them to pray, stay positive and focus on the journey to recovery.

For more information about how to support the Cancer Center at SMC or the SMC Foundation, please visit

or contact Executive Director, D. Scott Petty or Jeffery Corbett at the SMC Foundation at 405.742.5387.