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AROUND TOWN: "Straight Arrow" Mayor John Suthers roasted for a cause

February 23, 2017 Updated: February 23, 2017 at 11:52 am
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Mayor John Suthers shares a post-roast laugh with Perry Sanders, left, and former roastee Jim Maguire. 021217Photo by Linda Navarro

It was a night to have some fun at Mayor John Suthers' expense.

And he laughed right along at folks who had twitted him about being quiet, short, a bit of a nerd and totally tech lacking. Oh, and wasn't he that "Straight Arrow" who had batted hitless against future MLB Hall of Famer Goose Gossage during a St. Mary's/Wasson game?

Taking notes as roasters took their shots, Suthers turned the tables with his own gotcha stories about City Council President "Give the mayor a hug" Merv Bennett, brother-in-law "Strayed Arrow" Ben Gill, attorney -- and cough-cough -- Democrat David Johnson, former district attorney Jeanne Smith, emcee Rich Tosches and Suthers' daughters Alison and, by video, Kate.

(City Hall reporter Billie Stanton Anlou's event story: tinyurl.com/jqfclz8 )

By evening's end on Feb. 18, the good-natured mayoral roast, which drew a who's who list of 550 guests, had raised a record $254,000 for Cheyenne Village and its programs for adult residents with developmental disabilities.

By video and in person, there was an opportunity to meet Cheyenne Village resident Willis Jackson, who plays a mean saxophone and builds Lego robots and models. Not always a smiling, happy man, he had dropped into homelessness, struggling to fit into the world around him, off his meds, no family connections and, finally, in jail. His aunt and uncle from St. Louis got a surprise call from jail in 2014 from the long-missing relative and with help from the local public defender and agencies, found Cheyenne Village where he is learning self-sufficiency and living a safe life learning independence.

Sitting in the hot seat next year as the roast subject will be U.S. Bank's Tom Naughton who has already been alerted that credit unions are waiting for those roaster chairs to give the personable banker his comeuppance. Let the competition begin.

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