The Prevent Cancer Foundation held its 17th Annual Spring Gala at the National Building Museum on March 11, 2011. The Foundation welcomed 900 guests to the event, including many prominent members of the DC diplomatic, political, business and philanthropic communities. This year’s gala, “The Enchanting Principality of Monaco”, raised over $1.2 million dollars to further our mission: the prevention and early detection of cancer through scientific research, education and community outreach.
Prevent Cancer Foundation board member, acclaimed wedding and event planner David Tutera designed the red and silver swathed event, which included 30,000 red roses, softly candlelit tables, cascading crystal centerpieces and intricate candelabra. He also brought special guests Kim Estrada, a breast cancer survivor, and her husband Eddy with him this year. The couple was invited to the Gala during their breast cancer awareness themed episode of Tutera’s show “My Fair Wedding”. Guests enjoyed a sumptuous three course meal, including a Veal Ravioli first course, a Beef Entrecôte main course and a beautifully arranged Chocolate Indulgence with Strawberry Sorbet for dessert.
Congresswoman Doris Matsui was honored as the Foundation’s 2011 Cancer Prevention Champion for her inspiration and leadership in founding the Foundation’s Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program. Matsui highlighted how important this bipartisan program is in efforts to raise awareness about cancer prevention and how instrumental Congressional spouses have been in sharing this vital information.
Guests of Honor included the Hon. José Badia, Foreign Minister, representing H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco and Mrs. Madeleine Badia, H.E. Gilles Noghès, Ambassador of Monaco and Mrs. Ellen Noghès. Joyce Gates and Missy Edwards served as Gala co-chairs; Jeanne Wolak chaired the Dinner Committee.
“Good Morning America” Weather Anchor Sam Champion acted as Master of Ceremonies, introducing guest speaker Daniel Holt, a staff member in Rep. Jim McGovern’s office. Holt gave a moving speech recounting his own battle with melanoma, stressing the importance of prevention and early detection. Both Champion and Holt encouraged attendees to donate during the “Lighting the Way to Prevention” pledge drive, raising an additional $44,000. “Lighting the Way to Prevention” refers to the flashing lanyards each donor received after making a contribution.
Long recognized as one of Washington D.C.’s most anticipated annual events, the Prevent Cancer Foundation hosted its first gala in 1994 with Former President George H.W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush serving as its Co-Chairs. The Prevent Cancer Annual Spring Gala salutes a different country each year and has been named one of the top ten Washington, D.C. benefits by BizBash magazine.