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Karmanos Cancer Institute’s 32nd Annual Dinner raised All-Time High: More than $2.7 Million to Enhance Cancer Care

GM, GM Foundation, Cadillac, Chevrolet, other Sponsors/Guests Support Cancer Care

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The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute's 32nd Annual Dinner chaired by Pernilla Ammann, chief operating officer of Mother New York; and Dan Ammann, president of General Motors Company, raised more than $2.7 million, making this year’s event the most successful Annual Dinner in Karmanos’ history. Host sponsor for the elegant gala was Cadillac. Proceeds from this year’s Annual Dinner will assist with the renovation of the Institute’s infusion center, providing a more comfortable and soothing setting for patients to receive chemotherapy treatments.

This is the fourth consecutive year that a member of GM’s senior leadership has chaired Karmanos’ Annual Dinner. The combined contributions from GM and the GM Foundation to Karmanos have come to more than $7.4 million over the past 17 years.

“Pernilla and I are proud to be among many who were part of this special evening, raising a record-setting amount for the Karmanos Cancer Institute,” said Dan Ammann. “We are honored to have been a part of such an important event supporting the Institute’s efforts to improve patient care with the much-needed renovation of their infusion center.”

A significant portion of the funds raised can be attributed to Rick Hendrick, group chairman of Hendrick Automotive and owner of Hendrick Motorsports.  Hendrick secured the winning bid of $1 million for the first regular retail production 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, donated by Chevrolet, and auctioned at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Palm Beach, Fla., earlier this month.

Hendrick shared this message in a special video presentation to guests attending the Annual Dinner:  “I am truly honored to support Karmanos’ mission and applaud Chevrolet for donating the first 2015 Corvette Z06,” said Hendrick. “As a leukemia survivor, I know how important research is, and it’s a top priority for the Karmanos team who truly strive to offer each patient the very best chance at a cure. Thank you for supporting the life-saving work of the Karmanos Cancer institute.”  

In addition, for the third consecutive year, the GM Foundation gave a generous donation of $400,000 for cancer research.  

“Each year, I am amazed at the outpouring of support from General Motors, the GM Foundation and all of our generous sponsors and contributors who help us continue our mission to provide exceptional cancer care and research to our patients,” said Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO, Karmanos Cancer Institute.

“Special thanks goes to our Chairs Pernilla and Dan Ammann for their vision, Host Sponsor Cadillac, Chevrolet for again providing a an exquisite supercar for auction with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting Karmanos, to the generous winning bidder Rick Hendrick, and the Barrett-Jackson team.

“On behalf of the entire Karmanos team and all those we serve, my heartfelt gratitude for your outstanding commitment to help us eradicate this disease. 

More than 500 guests attended the elegant gala held April 26 at the Fox Theatre. Hank Winchester, anchor/reporter for WDIV Local 4, served as emcee.

Highlights from the black tie event with an elegant 1920’s setting, were complete with vintage GM cars, including a 1931 Fleetwood Cadillac displayed in the grand lobby of the Fox Theatre; special entertainment by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra; music from the Fox Theatre’s Wurlitzer organ; and a special performance by Korean tenor Rudy Park who is currently in Detroit to sing in Michigan Opera Theatre’s production of Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot, at the Detroit Opera House. Park sang two selections: “Celeste Aida” from the opera Aida; and “Nessun Dorma” from the opera Turandot.

The evening also included a seated dinner, brief program, dancing and a raffle of a pair of beautiful platinum and 18k yellow gold drop earrings with 2ctw pink and white diamonds, valued at $15,000, presented by Tapper’s Diamonds and Fine Jewelry HJT Reserve Collection.  

In addition, Spanky Assiter, chairman and founder of Assiter Auctioneers, served as auctioneer for the live auction. The unique VIP experience auction packages included: the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship; the Billboard Music Awards; Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix, Arizona; Manchester United Game Day Experience; 24 Hours of Le Mans in France; NCAA 2015 Men’s Final Four; ESPY Awards; Barrett-Jackson VIP Experience; and a Bose Entertainment Package.

Ammann also announced that Deb and Bob Ferguson, senior vice president of Global Cadillac, will chair Karmanos’ 33rd Annual Dinner next spring, continuing GM’s outstanding commitment to Karmanos’ cancer care and research.

Cadillac was Host Sponsor for Karmanos’ 32nd Annual Dinner. Other key sponsors included: Presenting Sponsor, Gallagher-Kaiser Corporation; Executive Sponsors were Becker Ventures, Compuware Corporation, Johnson Controls and Mad Dog Technology; Reception Sponsor, Commonwealth McCann and Interpublic Group; Entertainment Sponsor, Credit Union ONE; Dinner Sponsors were AVL Americas, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Crain Communications, The Delphi Foundation, Edw. C. Levy Co., Lil and Alex Erdeljan, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP, Kenwal Steel Corp., Elizabeth and Michael Kojaian, Lear Corporation, Lowe Campbell Ewald, Quicken Loans, RBC Foundation USA and UAW-GM Center For Human Resources. 

Media sponsors included: Magazine Sponsor, Hour Detroit and dbusiness Magazines; Radio Sponsor, News/Talk 760 WJR; and Television Sponsor, WDIV Local 4.


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