Art of the Brain, a non-profit organization under the auspices of the UCLA Foundation, held its annual fundraising gala on Saturday, October 6, 2007 to spotlight the talent, courage and strength of brain cancer survivors and raise funds for brain cancer research headed by Dr. Timothy Cloughesy at the UCLA Neuro-Oncology Program.
The Eighth Annual Gala, entitled "An Inspirational Global Pursuit for the Cure" was held at UCLA Schoenberg Hall and was attended by more than 500 brain cancer research supporters. Jason Barry of the Phoenix CBS affiliate was Master of Ceremony for the fifth straight year. Barry's father had passed away from brain cancer several years ago.
Supporters were treated to a reception of a culinary feast, including some international fare, provided by restaurants and wineries such as continued supporters: Buddha's Belly, Cheese Store of Beverly Hills, Dandy Don's Ice Cream, Earth Wind and Flour, Elixir-G Gingerita, Johnny Rockets, Kate Mantilini, and Mr. Cecil's California Ribs. Also contributing to the feast were Balcom Family Cellars, Bar-B Kosher, Victor Benes, Cafe Med of Bakersfield, Deidrich Coffee, Good Fortune, I Can Eat It, Kay 'N Daves, Macedonio Family, Maki Sushi-Nano Catering, Matetic Vineyards and Wolfgang Pucks. A performance by UCLA Kyodo Taiko on taiko drumming, a musical art form from Japan, rounded out the pre-show reception.
The evening's program, directed by Dari McKenzie, showcased music by brain cancer survivor, Kevin Carlberg and String Theory. They delivered an astounding performance with their musical collaboration, bringing hope and inspiration to all. String Theory combines its music with the environment by connecting harp strings to architecture that is accompanied with traditional instruments and dance, to bring together a unique blend of music and art. Brain cancer survivor, Kevin Carlberg, a former member of the rock group Pseudopod and supporter of Art of the Brain who has taken part in past galas, brought his rock edge to the performance.
Marlene and David Capell were awarded with the Judith Kaufman Founder's Responsibility Award for their longtime support of Art of the Brain and UCLA Neuro-Oncology Program's brain cancer research. Being a cancer survivor herself, Marlene immediately became involved with Art of the Brain when Judi Kaufman and Dr. Cloughesy created the organization. Since then, she and her husband, David, continue to be an integral part of Art of the Brain, helping raise much needed funds for brain cancer research.
The Johnny Mercer Foundation Research Award was also presented during the program. This award recognizes dedicated researchers who have made an impact in the progress of brain cancer research. This year, the honor was bestowed upon Dr. Richard M. Green, Director of the Neuro-Oncology Program at Kaiser Permanente Hospital, Los Angeles. Dr. Green was honored with this award for his dedication to his patients and contributions to brain cancer research. He is currently collaborating with the UCLA Neuro-Oncology Program in brain cancer clinical research studies.
Art of the Brain is a volunteer-supported, non-profit organization registered under the auspices of the UCLA Foundation. Since the organization's inception, they have raised more than $2.1 million through its annual galas and partnership events. The 2007 benefit had a record-breaking year, surpassing the dollars raised from previous, individual galas. The 8th Annual Gala raised a totalof $393,060.78, with expenses totalling $56,908.17 (14.5%).
Since 2000, Art of the Brain has provided funding for the training of several physician scientists who have developed research projects aimed at eradicating brain cancer. More than 20 clinical trials have also benefited from this support. Breakthrough research has resulted, in part, by Art of the Brain funding - the UCLA medical community is moving closer to a personalized treatment in glioblastoma based upon molecular features of a tumor.
The 2007 annual gala would not have been possible with the generous support of its sponsors.
NETWORK SPONSOR - The Alex Demos Memorial Foundation
LIFE SPONSORS - The Johnny Mercer Foundation, Richard Dean Anderson
INSPIRATION SPONSORS - Martha Henderson & City National Bank
COURAGE SPONSORS - Marlene & David Capell, Joan & Gerald Doren, Gang Tyre Ramer Brown, Greenberg Traurig LLP, Judi & Roy Kaufman, Syndicated Real Estate Investments, Shirley and Burt Harris Family Foundation
GRATITUDE SPONSORS - Stephanie Anderson, The Carsey Family Foundation, Dina & Clint Eastwood, Stanley Gold & Shamrock Holdings, Doris P. Haims, Virginia & Bob Newhart, Benedicta & Geoffry Oblath, Ann Ramer, Florence and Bernard B. Roth Family Foundation, Mace Siegel, Jadi & Gy Waldron, Bunny Wasser & Howard Bernstein, The Werner Family Foundation
For more information or to make a contribution to Art of the Brain, please call (310) 825-5074 or visit the Art of the Brain website at www.artofthebrain.org.