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Benefit for Woody “Stix” Ford: Becoming “Better” Is the Only Way for Woody to Go

Who Should Attend: 
Event Flyer: 
PDF icon woody-flyer.pdf
Woody Ford


Guest Speaker

Benefit Event Details

Jeff Fuller, Kent Hewitt and Woody’s friend, Nancy Barnes, are hosting a benefit for Woody Ford during Jazz Week New Haven 2017 on Thursday, October 19th at Fornarelli’s Ristorante, 99 Orange Street, New Haven from 6:30-9:30 p.m. A $30 ticket, available at the door, includes live entertainment from a trio of Jeff on bass, Kent on piano and Jesse Hameen on drums, along with many other invited guest artists, also included is a buffet spread from Fornarelli’s Ristorante and a cash bar. Secured parking is available across the street.

For those unable to attend, please send donations by making checks payable to:

Burke Medical Research Institute
Mail donations to:
Burke Medical Research Institute
Attn: Christine Hughes
785 Mamaroneck Avenue
White Plains, New York 10605 

About Woody Ford

We hope you remember Woody Ford, a jazz photographer who has been on the scene in New Haven and elsewhere for decades. He had a major exhibition in New York for the “Jazz in July” concert series at the 92nd Street back in 2002, and his large photographs were also shown in the lobby of a jazz production in New York. “One of the romances of American history is the photography of Woody Ford,” wrote tenor saxophonist Yusef Lateef, now deceased. Lateef, Max Roach, Eubie Blake, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus — Woody has photographed them all. The National Jazz Museum in Harlem, which is a Smithsonian affiliate, will receive the work of Woody “Stix” Ford – so named because he also played the drums – for future use in its exhibitions.

Sadly, a few years ago, Woody suffered from severe strokes resulting in spasticity on his right side leaving him with acute stiffness and extreme pain. On his journey towards recovery, Woody benefited greatly from state-of-the-art robotic-assisted rehabilitation therapy offered at the Restorative Neurology Clinic at Burke Medical Research Institute. His tireless work and high spirit to rebuild strength, engage muscles memory, and awaken neuro-plasticity in his right wrist on the MIT-Manus robot and his right foot on the Anklebot robots were described as “dramatic” by his therapist. His physician at Yale New Haven Hospital was “amazed.” After completing the robotic therapy sessions, Woody has been free of pain and enjoying karaoke session once or twice a week among other activities.

Unfortunately, Woody has begun to experience stiffness on his right side once again and would benefit from additional robotic therapy to overcome spasticity. “I would like to be able to do something right. I want to be better. I need to. I need to. It's the only way I can go,” says Woody, whose smile can still light up a room. Currently, robotic-assisted therapy is not yet covered by medical insurance and Woody has accrued many costly medical bills over the past years. 

Kent, Nancy and Jeff are hosting this benefit event to raise funds to continue Woody’s stroke rehabilitation at Burke Medical Research Institute’s Restorative Neurology Clinic. Funds raised at this benefit event will directly impact Woody’s ability to continue robotic therapy at the Restorative Neurology Clinic. Please join us on Thursday, October 19th at Fornarelli’s Ristorante to help support Woody’s recovery as becoming “better” is the only way for Woody to go.

About the Restorative Neurology Clinic

In 2013, the Restorative Neurology Clinic at Burke Medical Research Institute established a self-pay clinic to offer breakthrough state-of-the-art robotic neurorehabilitation therapies for individuals who are recovering from stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, other neurological conditions. The clinic was launched based on many years of clinical research conducted at Burke Medical Research Institute that has investigated exoskeletal robotics to assist in neurorehabilitation pioneered by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Utilizing robotic assisted therapy has been proven to lead to significant and meaningful improvements in motor function for individuals who have had a neurological condition.


Thursday, October 19, 2017 - 6:30pm to 9:30pm


Fornarelli's Ristorante
99 Orange St
New Haven, CT 06510
United States