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Bobcat heroes turn out

The Bobcats put on their black-tie best Saturday for the organization's second annual My Hero Gala.

The party was a fundraiser for the Presbyterian Hospital Community Care Cruiser, a 40-foot RV that provides medical care to those who can't afford it. In its first year, the cruiser has treated 1,200 patients.

Among those celebrated at the gala as this year's heroes:

Dell Curry, who was accompanied by his wife, Sonya (but no Stephen). Curry was honored for his work with Athletes United for Youth, a group he founded in 2006 with Steve Smith and Jay Bilas.

Dr. Ophelia Garmon-Brown, a physician who works closely with the Salvation Army Women and Children's Shelter, the Charlotte Community Health Free Clinic and other free clinics in the region.

Sue Gorman (accompanied by husband Peter), who founded Parent University, an effort between parents and CMS to help parents become partners in their child's education.

On the blue carpet rolled out in front of Time Warner Cable Arena, guests paired their black-tie duds with their fanciest sneakers.

Inside, Ryan Hollins played craps at the makeshift casino, while Gerald Wallace, Jason Richardson, Emeka Okafor and their Bobcats teammates mingled with guests and posed for photos.

Guests bid on some impressive items during the silent auction including autographed Beatles memorabilia, a boxing glove signed by Muhammad Ali and an electric guitar signed by Jimmy Buffett.

New coach Larry Brown kept a low profile, delivering a short speech before dinner.

Noticeably absent from the festivities was owner Bob Johnson, who was scheduled to deliver the event's opening remarks. President and COO Fred Whitfield stepped in to replace Johnson, who was called away at the last minute for undisclosed reasons, a Bobcats spokesman said. Michael Jordan also did not attend.

The team's home opener is Saturday against the Miami Heat.

Mistress of ceremonies Linda Cohn, an ESPN anchor, said it best, “You guys just need to stay healthy early on. ... You know who I'm talking to, Sean (May).”

Spotted …

Pop singer Katy Perry having dinner at Morton's uptown Saturday. Perry was in town to perform at Gravedigger's Ball, hosted by Kiss 95.1 and Dixie's Tavern.

Sarah Aarthun

Birthdays

Musician-songwriter Charlie Daniels, 72. Actress Jane Alexander, 69. Singer Curtis Lee, 67. Actor Dennis Franz, 64. Olympic track-and-field gold medalist Bruce Jenner, 59. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, 53. Actress Daphne Zuniga, 46. Actor-comedian Andy Richter, 42. Actress Julia Roberts, 41. Singer Ben Harper, 39. Country singer Brad Paisley, 36. Actor Joaquin Phoenix, 34. Singer Justin Guarini (“American Idol”), 30.

This day in history Oct. 28

1886: The Statue of Liberty, a gift from the people of France, was dedicated in New York Harbor by President Cleveland.

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