Karmanos Institute’s 30th Annual Dinner Raises $1.7M To Combat Cancer

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Karmanos Cancer Institute. (File)

Karmanos Cancer Institute. (File)

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DETROIT — The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute’s 30th Annual Dinner held Saturday, April 28, raised nearly $1.7 million to benefit Karmanos’ exceptional cancer care, making this the most successful Annual Dinner in Karmanos’ history.

More than 500 supporters participated in the dinner, held at the General Motors Vehicle Engineering Center in Warren. Proceeds will support a new Intensive Care Unit at the Karmanos Cancer Center, scheduled to open by Oct. 1, 2012.

Mary Barra, senior vice president, global product development, General Motors Co.; and her husband Tony Barra, president, Filament Consulting, served as chairs for the annual dinner. Chevrolet was the host sponsor for the event, and provided live auction items for the dinner, including a one-of-a-kind, custom 2012 Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Coupe.

“The Karmanos Cancer Institute does an extraordinary job not only in caring for those with cancer, but also in working to find a cure,” Barra said. “We are fortunate to have Karmanos in our community, and we are proud to support it.”

The annual dinner raised nearly $1.4 million prior to the April 28 event, thanks to the generosity of General Motors, Chevrolet, and several other sponsors and supporters. This includes the General Motors Foundation’s generous donation of $400,000. In addition, $150,000 was raised from the Barrett-Jackson Auction of the 45th Anniversary Chevrolet Camaro Convertible, VIN 001, which was donated by Chevrolet and auctioned earlier this month in West Palm Beach, Florida.

General Motors’ and the General Motors Foundation’s support for cancer research, brings GM’s total contribution to the Karmanos Cancer Institute to nearly $6 million over the past 15 years.

“More than 1.6 million new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed this year, and it is a disease that has affected all of us in one way or another. The research and care that the Karmanos Cancer Institute, one of the leading cancer centers in the United States, provides to thousands of patients and their families is immeasurable, said Vivian Pickard, president of the GM Foundation. “The GM Foundation is a dedicated supporter of the state-of-the-art cancer research being done by Karmanos here in Detroit.”

“What an exemplary partner the GM family continues to be to Karmanos and our community,” said Gerold Bepler, M.D., president and CEO of Karmanos. “I want to recognize Mary and Tony Barra for their stellar leadership, commitment and compassion as chairs for this year’s event. We are deeply grateful to them and all of our sponsors and supporters for making our 30th Annual Dinner the most successful in Karmanos’ history. Your outstanding support of our mission to eradicate cancer is a testament to our dedicated team of physicians and researchers who are relentless in their determination to find new and better treatments so that cancer patients can have the best possible chance of surviving their disease.”

Bepler also recognized Alan S. Schwartz, who completed his term as chair of the Karmanos Cancer Institute’s Board of Directors. Schwartz has provided his leadership on the board for 20 years and will continue to remain an active Karmanos board member.

As part of the event, Chevrolet showcased vehicles that represented the 1950’s through current day, as well as concept cars, demonstrating the progress made in both flagship organizations and the impact they continue to make globally. That includes General Motors innovative engineering, sleek designs and fuel-efficient vehicles; as well as the Karmanos Cancer Institute’s cutting-edge research, helping to develop the next standard of cancer care that will be used around the world.

The Annual Dinner featured a cocktail reception, seated dinner and musical entertainment by the Jerry Ross Band. A raffle to raise additional funds included an 18k, white gold diamond, three-row METRO pendant, donated by Tiffany & Co.; and an Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island Bahamas, four-day/three-night stay at the Royal Towers, donated by Compuware Corporation.

A live auction was conducted by Spanky Assiter, founder of Assiter & Associates, National Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame inductee and Barrett-Jackson auctioneer. The auction items, provided by Chevrolet, included: a one-of-a-Kind, Custom Chevrolet Corvette Grand Sport Coupe, a VIP Super Bowl XLVII Package for two to the 2013 Super Bowl in New Orleans and a Indy 500 experience. In total, the live auction raised $261,000.

Host Sponsor for the Karmanos Cancer Institute’s 30th Annual Dinner was Chevrolet; Presenting Sponsor was Compuware Corporation; and Executive Sponsors were Lil and Alex Erdeljan and Johnson Controls. Dinner Sponsors included: AVL Americas, Becker Ventures, Credit Union ONE, The Delphi Foundation, Edward C. Levy Co., The Ferrantino Foundation, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP, JMC Steel Group, Kenwal Steel Corp., Lear Corporation, and Trott & Trott.

Karmanos is one of 41 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Caring for nearly 6,000 new patients annually on a budget of $265 million, conducting more than 700 cancer-specific scientific investigation programs and clinical trials, Karmanos is among the nation’s best cancer centers. Through the commitment of 1,000 staff, including nearly 300 physicians and researchers on faculty at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, and supported by thousands of volunteer and financial donors, Karmanos strives to prevent, detect and eradicate all forms of cancer. Its long-term partnership with the WSU School of Medicine enhances the collaboration of critical research and academics related to cancer care. For more information call (800) KARMANOS or go to www.karmanos.org .

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