Black and White Ball raises $800,000 to pursue breakthroughs in cancer research

November 17, 2008

The University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation Women's Board raised $800,000 at its "Black and White Ball." The proceeds will be used to help discover new cancer treatments.

More than 500 supporters attended the ball held at the Four Seasons Hotel because they recognized that continued funding is needed in order to make progress in treating cancer.

The ball was part of the Women's Board's 42nd Annual Grand Auction Gala. The event was modeled after Truman Capote's Black and White Ball in 1966 when 500 masked guests celebrated in New York City's Plaza Hotel Grand Ballroom--a legendary event that was the talk of the social season.

At the Cancer Research Foundation's black-tie event, sponsored by Tiffany & Co. and American Airlines, women masked as swans and masked gentlemen dressed to the nines enjoyed an evening of mystique and glamour.

"It was an extraordinary evening that was made even more meaningful by the fact that these funds will go to research that will make tomorrow's important discoveries possible in the war against cancer," event co-chair Nalisa Ward said.

The Grand Auction portion of the evening featured an array of prizes, including a stunning platinum and diamond necklace by Tiffany & Co. valued at $25,000, as well as trips to Moscow and Tokyo donated by American Airlines. Everlands provided a week's stay at the Lone Mountain Ranch in Big Sky, Montana, and renown chef and James Beard Award winner Art Smith auctioned off dinners.

Shelley Johnstone Paschke also co-chaired the Black and White Ball. Barbara Sessions is president of the Women's Board.

With a long tradition of service, the University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation has supported research for 61 years to investigate the cause, prevention, treatment, and cure of cancer. It has aided virtually every cancer program at the University of Chicago. Funds provided by the foundation have helped University scientists in work that led to the Nobel Prize in Medicine, the Lasker Prize, the Charles F. Kettering Prize for Cancer Research, and the National Medal of Science.

Among the key recipients of funds from past Grand Auctions has been the Ben May Department for Cancer Research. Ben May focuses on fundamental science research into the mechanisms of cancer progression.

Funds from the Grand Auction have also benefitted the University of Chicago's Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) in Breast Cancer, the Ludwig Center for Metastases Research, and the University of Chicago Cancer Research Center. The Ludwig Center operates at six distinguished research institutions in the U.S.--a collaborative that gathers the best minds in the nation to study cancer causes, treatment, and prevention. The Ludwig Center at the University of Chicago Medical Center focuses on cancer metastases.

About the University of Chicago Medical Center

The University of Chicago Medical Center, established in 1927, is one of the nation's leading academic medical institutions. It consists of the renowned Pritzker School of Medicine; Bernard Mitchell Hospital, the primary adult patient care facility; Comer Children's Hospital, devoted to the medical needs of children; Chicago Lying-in Hospital, a maternity and women's hospital; and the Duchossois Center for Advanced Medicine, a state-of-the-art ambulatory-care facility with the full spectrum of preventive, diagnostic, and treatment functions. Care is provided by more than 700 attending physicians - most of whom are full-time University faculty members - 620 residents and fellows, more than 1,000 nurses and 9,500 employees.

The Medical Center is consistently recognized as a leading provider of complex medical care. It is the only Illinois hospital ever to make the U.S.News & World Report Honor Roll, with eight clinical specialties--digestive disorders; cancer; endocrinology; neurology and neurosurgery; heart and heart surgery; kidney disease; geriatrics; and ear, nose and throat--ranked among the top 30 programs nationwide. The Medical Center was awarded Magnet status in 2007, the highest level of recognition for nursing care.

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