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Karmanos Cancer Institute's Annual Dinner Gala and Fashion Extravaganza Raised Nearly $500,000 for Patient Care and Research

More than 400 people attended the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute’s 28th Annual Dinner Gala on Saturday, May 8, at the Rock Financial Showplace. The event raised nearly $500,000. Proceeds will benefit the nationally recognized patient care and research programs at the Karmanos Cancer Institute.

Doreen Hermelin and Mel Lester visit with Dick and Gail Purtan during the Annual Dinner festivities.

Elizabeth Hardy, Sandy and Alan S. Schwartz, and Nettie Seabrooks enjoy dinner before the program.

Dick Purtan, radio legend and long-time Karmanos supporter served as Master of Ceremonies. The program also included comments from Karmanos Cancer Institute Board Chair Alan S. Schwartz; and Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Karmanos, who also received a special tribute. Acknowledgement was also given to Joseph Dresner, a patient of Charles Schiffer, M.D., for his recent $2.5 million charitable donation to construct the Joseph Dresner Family Bone Marrow Transplant and Hematologic Malignancies Center at Karmanos’ main campus in Detroit.

Tracey and Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D.

Annual Dinner guests were treated to an exciting and unique fashion show designed by creative icon Linda Dresner. Dresner, a native Detroiter, is a world-renown fashion maven and breast cancer survivor. More than 35 models used each dinner table as their runway, rotating from table to table, modeling nearly 50 outfits. Linda Dresner’s creative fashion program had guests feeling as if they were in New York or Europe.

This is the second time Linda Dresner created a fashion show for Karmanos, the first being in 2007. Dresner, a 13-year breast cancer survivor, donated her time, talent and resources for both fashion shows, something she does freely in thanks for the care she received at the Karmanos Cancer Institute. Her creative talent inspires and celebrates the strength and beauty of women.

Linda Dresner

“When I was diagnosed with cancer, it was a dramatic event in my life,” said Linda Dresner. “I feel very fortunate to have had such wonderful care at the Karmanos Cancer Institute. The compassionate care I received during my treatment and throughout my recovery was excellent. It was a turning point in my life, and it changed me. I’m honored to be able to give something back to the Institute where medical and research teams continue to work tirelessly to find the best and most successful treatments for all cancers.”

The Annual Dinner included a reception, elegant dinner, a super silent auction, and a raffle sponsored by Tiffany & Co. The elegant raffle items included a Tiffany & Co. diamond triple circlet ring set in platinum, diamond triple circlet earrings set in platinum, and a diamond petals key with chain set in platinum. The combined retail value of the Tiffany & Co. raffle items was $14,500.

Some of the exciting silent action items included the use of a beautiful up-north Michigan cottage for a weekend, donated by Karen Jacobson, which brought in $7500; and a six-night stay at a beautiful villa in Port Douglas, Australia, donated by Hidee and Jeff Neuenschwander, which brought in a winning bid of $2,500.

The special Candle Tribute Program, through which individuals could honor or pay tribute to a loved one, raised $16,550. All Candle Tribute donations were matched dollar for dollar up to $15,000 through the generosity of Residential Home Health.

Guests danced and enjoyed the sounds of Bay Area Blues Society.

The Annual Dinner supports and salutes the ongoing work of the dedicated team of physicians, researchers, staff and volunteers who continue to provide outstanding patient care and groundbreaking research at the Karmanos Cancer Institute.

“We are able to continue to provide outstanding patient care and enhance our cancer research thanks to the dedicated and generous support of our donors and sponsors,” said Nick Karmanos, vice president of development for the Karmanos Cancer Institute. “We’re grateful that our mission to do all we can to end this disease is also the passion of our many friends and supporters.”

Executive Sponsor was Compuware Corporation. Entertainment Sponsor was Kenwal Steel Corporation. Dinner Sponsor was Trott & Trott. Program Book Sponsors were Kellie and Mike Ferrantino. Honorary Co-Chairs were Michelle and Charles E. Becker, Becker Ventures; Danialle and Peter Karmanos, Jr., Compuware Corporation; Linda Dresner and Ed Levy, Jr., Edw C. Levy Co.; Lil and Alex Erdeljan; Kellie and Mike Ferrantino; Sandy and Alan S. Schwartz, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP; HOUR Detroit & DBusiness Magazines; Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg, Kenwal Steel Corp.; Elizabeth and Michael Kojaian; Jacqueline and Mario Nanos, Residential Home Health; Tiffany & Co. and Kathleen and David Trott, of Trott & Trott.

Other major sponsors included Delphi Foundation; Ford Motor Company; General Motors, General Motors Foundation; George P. Johnson Company; PVS Chemicals, Inc.; Rock Financial Showplace; Soave Enterprises; and A. Alfred Taubman.

Photo credit: Patricia A. Ellis.

© 2014 Karmanos Cancer Institute Pencil
The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center is accredited by The Joint Commission.
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