On Tuesday, May 8 the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation hosted its annual benefit to raise funds for childhood cancer research and celebrate 30 years of fighting the devastating illnesses. The foundation has generated over $25 million dollars towards innovative research for state-of-the-art treatment for childhood cancers, blood disorders and immunological diseases. Survival rates have risen from approximately 20% to 80% for those diagnosed with pediatric cancers.
The evening commenced with a benefactors’ dinner at The Modern, followed by a large reception at The Museum of Modern Art. Guests enjoyed free range of MoMA’s fifth floor permanent collection, cocktails and hors d’oeuvre made by Creative Edge Designs.
Dr. Mitchell S. Cairo, Director of the PCRF Laboratory at Maria Ferari Children’s Hospital at Westchester Medical Center, New York Medical College, was on hand to discuss the advancements that he and his colleagues have made and to share a few success stories. Speakers cautioned that all too often, pediatric cancers are not the priority of profit-driven pharmaceuticals. Attendees were encouraged to text-message their donations on a giant projection screen, which tallied the fundraising results live. By 10p.m. the goal of $30,000 was halfway realized as a silent auction composed of sports memorabilia, fashion accessories and vacation and dining packages took place.
The organization announced plans for a September 22 “Dribble for the Cure” basketball event with UCLA and St. John’s and also débuted a new project championed by Jon Lester of the Boston Red Sox. The initiative is called NVRQT (“Never Quit”), which sees that the profits of special NVRQT baseballs sold go to support the PCRF.
Gala guests gobbled down desserts by John Delucie and Heather Bertinetti of Crown, before parading down to Avenue for an afterparty.