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Blues Brothers Excite Black & Red Ball Crowd

“Animal House, Saturday Night Live, the late '70s, those were the days,” said Stanley Gamble

It was a gala visual Java couldn't get out of her head long after she left the Bushnell Saturday night.

The three top guys in the Hartford Hospital/ Hartford Healthcare system were feeling the groove when The Blues Brothers, including Dan Aykroyd as Elwood Blues and Jim Belushi as Zee Blues, took the stage at the hospital's annual Black & Red ball.

Elliot Joseph, president/CEO Hartford HealthCare, Hartford Hospital president Stuart Markowitz and Jeff Flaks, executive vice president/COO Hartford HealthCare were over-the-top excited when the doors opened, promising they would be on their feet and celebrating at the ball that this year benefited the hospital's trauma center.

"I loved Jim Belushi and Dan Aykroyd," said Markowitz who recalls hanging around The Second City comedy club in Chicago where several well known comedians, including Aykroyd and Belushi and his late brother, John Belushi, performed. "It was $2 to get in," said Markowitz. "They were great."

Maybe it was Java's imagination but it seemed like the crowd at this year's event was a bit more giddy than usual, whether it be because they were so happy to safely make it through a snow/rain/sleet combo outside and finally get inside where it was dry, or because The Blues Brothers promised music like "Soul Man" that reminded them of their own glory days.

"Animal House, Saturday Night Live, the late '70s, those were the days," said Stanley Gamble, one of the 1,200 people who attended the ball, and one of several who sported Blues Brother-style sunglasses with their tux. "They are timeless and the music they play, priceless."

Not only was the black-tie affair designed to celebrate the trauma center, but also the 30th anniversary of Life Star, the hospital's emergency medical transport system.

"We have had 33,000 flights over those 30 years," said Markowitz. "It's a lot to celebrate tonight."

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