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2009 Highlights

The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute’s 16th Annual Partners gala took place Saturday evening, Sept. 12, at the beautiful Somerset Collection South, in Troy. More than 600 guests attended the elegant gala. The Partners Night event along with the Aug. 24 Partners golf classic raised more than $750,000 in the fight against cancer. This includes the generous $125,000 “Erb Challenge” funds contributed by Barbara and Fred Erb. In total, Partners fundraising events have raised nearly $9 million over the past 15 years to benefit the Institute’s nationally recognized cancer research programs.

Partners Honorees Michelle and Charles E. Becker (left) and Madeline and Sidney Forbes are joined by Karmanos Cancer Institute Board Chair Alan S. Schwartz.

Click here for more photos from the 16th Annual Partners gala.

This year’s Partners honorees, recognized for their outstanding philanthropy and commitment to the fight against cancer, were Michelle and Charles E. Becker of Grosse Pointe, and Madeline and Sidney Forbes of Bloomfield Hills.

“It’s a privilege to acknowledge the tremendous contributions of tonight’s honorees,” said Nick Karmanos, vice president of Development for the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. “We can all learn from the example set by these four inspiring individuals. Each of them demonstrates every day the importance of giving back.”

Emcee for the Sept. 12 event was WJR radio personality Warren Pierce. The event included a strolling dinner reception; entertainment by That 80’s Band; dancing; a raffle for a $5,000 gift card to the Somerset Collection, donated by Somerset Collection; a marketplace bazaar; and a silent auction. The 2009 Partners Executive Committee co-chairs were Dan Cornwell and Andrea Morganroth. Co-chairs for the Partners Night were Sue Brodsky and Peter Fezzey; and co-chairs for the Partners golf classic were Burton Brodsky and Aaron Ranka.

Another exciting feature to this year’s event is the Somerset Collection shopping promotion. Those who shop at the Somerset Collection from Sept. 10 – 16 have an opportunity to support cancer-fighting research. Customers need to show their receipts at the South Concierge Desk and the Somerset Collection will donate 10 percent of the shopper’s total purchases from any Somerset Collection merchant to the Karmanos Cancer Institute (purchases up to $100,000.)

Proceeds from this year’s Partners events and the Somerset Collection’s shopping promotion will help fund a Veridex Cell Search System and a Microscope Stage. The Veridex Cell Search System detects and isolates rare cancer cells that may be present in the patient’s blood circulation. The ability to detect and enumerate these cancer cells in patients undergoing treatment provides valuable information regarding the treatment’s efficacy and the patient’s prognosis. The microscope stage will complement Karmanos’ existing Zeiss Axiovert confocal microscope. The automated stage will allow for precise control of the movement of cancer cells which is essential for precise and reproducible imaging of cancer cells. Both of these tools will further Karmanos’ work to develop individualized treatment strategies that will one day help all cancer patients receive therapies targeted specifically to their unique type of cancer.

Ann G. Schwartz, Ph.D., interim president and chief executive officer, Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center said, “The individuals we honor tonight have been incredible supporters of the Karmanos Cancer Institute for many years. Their commitment of time and resources help us remain on the forefront of cancer care, providing state of-the-science cancer research and compassionate cancer services to our patients.”

Dr. Schwartz added, “In a time where we as a region are faced with economic challenges, the war on cancer doesn’t stop. We are steadfast in our mission to do all we can to eradicate this horrific disease, and we will continually work to steward the support of our donors to provide exceptional cancer care, education and world-renowned research to save lives.”

This year’s goal was to raise $750,000 to provide state-of-the science research and cancer care to Karmanos’ patients.


Honorary Co-Chairs: Mary Ann and Bruce Becker, Catherine and Nathan Forbes, Jennifer and David Forbes, Danialle and Peter Karmanos, Jr., Elizabeth and Michael Kojaian, and Art Van Elslander.

Challenge Sponsor, Barbara and Fred Erb; Corporate Partner, Compuware Corporation; Host Sponsor, Somerset Collection; Platinum Sponsors, Michelle and Charles E. Becker; Mary Ann and Bruce Becker; Madeline and Sidney Forbes; and Marjorie S. Fisher. Partner Sponsor, Quicken Loans.

Magazine Sponsor, Hour Detroit & Dbusiness Magazines. Radio Sponsor, News/Talk 760 WJR.

Additional Major Sponsors include: Agree Realty Corporation, AXA Foundation, Bank of America, Susie and Larry Becker, Dr. and Mrs. Goodman, Barbara and Harold Beznos, Cambridge Consulting Group, Nicole and Dan Cornwell, Frances and Kenneth Eisenberg, Catherine and Nathan Forbes, Ford Motor Company, HoMedics, Honigman Miller Schwartz & Cohn LLP, Laura and Peter Karmanos III, Julie and Nick Karmanos, Christy and Jason Karmanos,Kojaian Ventures, Eunice and Milt Ring, Sigma Associates, Inc., The Suburban Collection, Taubman Centers, Judy and Alfred Taubman.

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