Los Angeles, CA, May 22, 2007 - On Sunday, May 20, 2007, the International Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton Hotel was filled with prominent healthcare professionals and celebrities as well as entertainment industry, business and community leaders for the Tower Cancer Research Foundation Annual Dinner. This year’s gala hosted by Brad Garrett honored singer/songwriter Sheryl Crow with the HOPE AWARD, chairman, chief executive and founder of The Lippin Group, an entertainment/communications public relations and marketing organization, Dick Lippin with the HUMANITARIAN AWARD and Director of the Clinical Translational Research Division of Translational Genomics Research Institute (T-Gen) Dr. Daniel Von Hoff with the HEALING AWARD.
(L to R) Comedian and Host of the 2007 Tower Cancer Research Foundation Gala Brad Garrett, renowned press agent and Humanitarian Award honoree Dick Lippin, singer/songwriter and Hope Award honoree Sheryl Crow and Director of the Clinical Translational Research Division at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (T-Gen) and HEALING AWARD honoree Dr. Daniel Von Hoff at the 2007 Tower Cancer Research Foundation Gala. (Photo Credit: Maxine Picard)
Tower Cancer Research Foundation is a non-profit organization formed in 1996 that is dedicated to finding more effective treatments to prevent, treat and one day, cure cancer. The Foundation conducts leading edge clinical trials, focusing on developing new treatment options for patients suffering from cancer and blood disorders. Currently Tower Cancer Research foundation has over seventy active clinical trials including several Phase 1 studies, the initial human trial of drugs that have shown promise in pre-clinical studies. Typically, these studies have been largely performed at major universities and research institutions but now, because of Tower’s smaller size and proven record, they are being sought after to conduct these trials.
Sheryl Crow During The Live Auction At The 2007Tower Cancer Research Foundation Gala (Photo Credit: Maxine Picard)
The evening’s events kicked off with welcome remarks from “Everybody Loves Raymond’s” favorite brother and host for the evening’s festivities Brad Garrett and Chairman of the Board of Directors for Tower Cancer Research Foundation and a successful investment specialist and Senior Vice President at Smith Barney David Ruderman. Ruderman introduced a video about the organization that gave everyone a behind-the-scenes and a first hand look at some of the work they do at Tower Cancer Research Foundation.
Following the video, Executive Committee Member, Board Member and Event Chair Nancy Mishkin addressed the room with her own welcome remarks and thank yous and acknowledged special donors to the Foundation Puro & Abbott. Mishkin also went on to address some accomplishments made by the Foundation over the past year including, the new center for radiation therapy that opened in October enabling the Foundation to begin offering clinical radiation trials; Tower Cancer Research Foundation’s affiliations Translational Geonomics Research Institute and The City of Hope that give the Foundation access to clinical trials that were previously only available at these institutes; and she announced that Tower Cancer Research Foundation is increasing its fellowship program that will enable them to continue their research efforts. “All in all,” stated Mishkin, “we’ve come a long way. From the opening of our doors in 1996 as a fledgling foundation, we have grown to become a $2 million public foundation that is leading the way in developing new treatment options for patients with cancer.”
Brad Garrett returned to the stage to introduce President and CEO of Tower Cancer Research Foundation Dr. Solomon Hamburg, MD who presented the first award of the evening, the HUMANITARIAN AWARD to Dick Lippin and his daughter Alexandra Lippin. Aside from his hugely successful worldwide Public Relations and Marketing Agency, Lippin is noted for years of involvement in various important philanthropic and cultural activities. The recent untimely death of his wife from a rare form of breast cancer stimulated him to direct more of his philanthropic activities toward cancer. In conjunction with Tower Cancer Research Foundation, The Lippin Family has funded a research grant, the Ronnie Lippin - Tower Cancer Research Foundation Fellowship, that will enable an outstanding local area clinician-scientist to do cutting edge laboratory research. A second project the Lippin Family is embarking on with Tower Cancer Research Foundation is the Ronnie Lippin-Tower Cancer Research Foundation Cancer Outreach Program which will be dedicated to providing the public with information about cancer.
Brad Garrett returned to the stage to introduce Tower Cancer Research Foundation Board Member and Founding Member of the Tower Hematology Medical Group Dr. Barry Rosenbloom who brought to the stage Dr. William Tap, a recipient of a 2006 Tower Cancer Research Foundation fellowship, who then announced and introduced three new fellows Dr. Richard Schwab, the first Ronnie-Lippin-Tower Cancer Research Foundation Fellow, from the University of San Diego who is researching new blood markers for breast cancer research, Dr. Saskia Guelle from Cedars-Sinai who is researching targeted therapies for the treatment of lymphoma and Dr. Zev Wainberg from UCLA who is working on research for the treatment of colon cancer. Each new fellow was awarded $50,000 to continue their research.
The second half of the evening kicked off with a whip-around of two cancer survivors who told their stories of their bouts with cancer. Following this was a live auction. Brad Garrett and Nancy Mishkin officiated over the auction that, instead of being for a vacation to some exotic location or perhaps a new car, was to bid money to attach ones name or the name of a loved one to individual clinical trials or to specific research projects. There were six clinical trial categories available to underwrite, they were Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Lymphoma and Colorectal Cancer. The suggested donation for each clinical trial was $5,000 and there were over 60 underwriters in total.
(L to R) Tower Cancer Research Foundation President & CEO Dr. Solomon Hamburg, singer/songwriter and Hope Award honoree Sheryl Crow, Co-founder of Tower Cancer Research Foundation Dr. Philomena McAndrew, M.D. at the 2007 Tower Cancer Research Foundation Gala. (Photo Credit: Maxine Picard)
Following the auction Garrett introduced the presenter for the next award, Medical Director of Tower Cancer Research Foundation Dr. Peter Rosen. Rosen presented the HEALING AWARD to Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, Director of the Clinical Translational Research Division at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (T-Gen) in Phoenix, AZ, a genetic-oriented research institute performing ground breaking research in genomic medicine and dedicated to producing a better therapy for cancer. Tower Cancer Research Foundation has established a relationship with T-Gen and together they have recently initiated their first patient trials at Tower Cancer Research Foundation.
(L to R) Comedian and Host of the 2007 Tower Cancer Research Foundation Gala Brad Garrett with singer/songwriter and Hope Award honoree Sheryl Crow at the 2007 Tower Cancer Research Foundation Gala. (Photo Credit: Maxine Picard)
Garrett returned to the podium to introduce a co-founder of Tower Cancer Research Foundation Dr. Philomena McAndrew who presented the HOPE AWARD to singer/songwriter Sheryl Crow. In her acceptance speech Crow spoke of her battle with breast cancer and of how thankful she was to her doctors for finding it early and for their help and support throughout her recovery. She is dedicated to helping find a cure and to spread the word about how lifesaving and important early detection is.
Brad Garrett closed the evening with good-byes and announced that the live and silent auctions combined raised $295,000. for cancer research.
This year’s gala marked the 5th Annual Tower Cancer Research Foundation Awards Gala.
For more information on Tower Cancer Research Foundation please visit the website www.towercancerfoundation.org.