October 29, 2010, Vancouver, BC – The capacity crowd of 400 dinner guests had philanthropy on their minds last night as they donated a record $2.6 million to the BC Cancer Foundation at its 2010 Inspiration Gala, sponsored by Teck Resources Limited. The proceeds will fund a major new research study of lymphoma, one of the fastest-growing and now the fourth most common cancer in B.C. and North America.
Radio and TV broadcaster Vicki Gabereau, whose mother died of lymphoma, hosted the Gala, teaming up with veteran auctioneer Greg Rollo as guests raised their bid paddles en masse to support the cause, buying luxury vacations, original art and a 1.2-carat diamond. A surprise bid of $1 million from Gloria Beauchamp and David Ritchie and another of $250,000 from TELUS brought the house down.
The Gala committee, co-chaired by lymphoma survivor Susan Van der Flier and Gordon Gibson, who lost his wife to the disease, had transformed the Rocky Mountaineer Station into a sophisticated supper club with dramatic, deep blue drapery, crystal chandeliers and tropical floral arrangements.
Dr. Joseph Connors, Clinical Director of the BC Cancer Agency’s world-renowned Centre for Lymphoid Cancer, described how Gala proceeds will fund the Centre’s ANGELYC Project - a first-of-its-kind study of the entire DNA of all lymphomas, both Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin types.
“The ANGELYC Project will lead to a better understanding of the drivers of all lymphoid cancers, and they are the path to potential cures for our patients,” he said. “The technology is at hand and with your generous support, the research is ready to begin.”
Two-time lymphoma survivor Kathy McLaughlin told guests she was a living miracle. “I wouldn’t be here to tell my story if it weren’t for the advances in treatment made possible by research,” she said. “That is why I believe so strongly in the ANGELYC Project - we have the chance, right here in B.C., to invest in breakthrough research that could mean the difference between life and death for thousands of people diagnosed with lymphoid cancers in the future.”
BC Cancer Foundation President and CEO Douglas Nelson thanked Gala sponsors, donors and guests for their generosity. “Your partnership in this research is going to change the landscape for lymphoma research in British Columbia. You will make a difference in the lives of lymphoma patients and their families in B.C., across Canada and potentially around the world.”
The Foundation’s Inspiration Galas have now raised close to $8 million for cancer research at the BC Cancer Agency and directly funded four recent breakthroughs in ovarian cancer.
The BC Cancer Foundation is the bridge that connects philanthropic support and research breakthroughs in cancer knowledge. As the fundraising partner of the BC Cancer Agency and the largest charitable funder of cancer research in this province, we enable donors to make contributions to leading-edge research that have a direct impact on improvements to cancer care for patients in British Columbia. As an independent charitable organization, we raise funds exclusively for the BC Cancer Agency to support innovative cancer research and compassionate enhancements to patient care. Visit www.bccancerfoundation.com to make a donation or to learn how you can make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer.
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Communications Specialist, BC Cancer Foundation