Hope Funds for Cancer Research 2007 Awards Gala

On the evening of August 25th, 2007, the Hope Funds held its inaugural Awards Gala. The event was a terrific success, raising more than $205,000 for basic research. Co-chaired by Trustee and Chairman of the Board Leah Rush Cann, Advisory Council member John Naughton, and Mrs. David L. Keefe, the evening brought together nearly 200 Trustees, Advisors, scientists, physicians, and friends. After dinner, guests enjoyed dancing to the Bob Hardwick Sound in the beautiful Newport mansion, Bois Doré.


Four distinguished individuals and an organization were honored:

Sir Paul Nurse-In recognition of his research that led to the identification of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) as the key regulator molecule controlling the process by which cells make copies of themselves. This discovery has been important in understanding the growth and development of cancer cells. The award was accepted on Sir Paul’s behalf by Dr. James Moseley, a post-doctoral fellow in Dr. Nurse’s laboratory at Rockefeller University.

Antonio J. Grillo-Lopez, M.D.-Chief Medical Officer Emeritus of IDEC Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Grillo-Lopez led the clinical development of rituximab, which was approved in 1997 by the FDA for the treatment of lymphoma. Dr. Grillo-Lopez also supervised the development of Zevalin, which is the first radio-immunotherapy approved for the treatment of cancer. He received the Hope Funds Award for Excellence in Clinical Development from Dr. David Straus of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Judah Folkman, M.D-The Andrus Professor of Pediatric Surgery and Professor of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School, is widely recognized as the founder of the field of angiogenesis research. He received the Hope Funds Award for Excellence in Medicine in recognition of this work from Hope Funds Trustee, Dr. David Keefe. In 1990, Dr. Folkman was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and Presidential appointment to the National Cancer Advisory Board of the National Institutes of Health.

Paula Kim-In recognition of co-founding the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN), the disease’s first and only national patient advocacy organization, received the Hope Funds Award for Excellence in Advocacy. She was presented the award by Hope Funds Trustee, Dr. Ayesha Sitlani, Merck & Co.

Corporate Angel Network-As the only charitable organization in the United States whose sole mission is to ease the emotional stress, physical discomfort and financial burden of travel for cancer patients by arranging free flights to treatment centers using the empty seats on corporate aircraft flying on routine business has been a model of philanthropy. Thanks to the generous cooperation of 500 of America’s top corporations, Corporate Angel Network has coordinated more than 25,000 flights since its founding in 1981. The President of Corporate Angel Network, Bonnie LeVar, accepted the Award for Excellence in Philanthropy on behalf of the organization from Hope Funds Trustee, Dr. Debbie Kennedy, Cephalon Corporation.

Following the poignant and heartfelt remarks by presenters and honorees, guests danced into the night accompanied by the lively music of the Bob Hardwick Sound.

The Hope Funds is especially grateful to the following leadership donors whose generosity helped make this event a great success: Mr. and Mrs. Charles V. Baltic III, Ms. Katherine Burdon, Mr. and Mrs. Ross Sinclair Cann, Mr. and Mrs. William Egan, Mr. and Mrs. L. Scott Frantz, Mr. John K. Naughton, Mr. John E. Parks, Mr. and Mrs. William Vareika, Dr. and Mrs. David L. Keefe for the use of their beautiful home, Acker Merrall & Co., The Catered Affair, Veuve Clicquot Champagne, Rentals Unlimited, Waters Edge Florist and the Junior Committee.

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