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The Take Aim at Cancer team has exciting news to share below. Thanks again for being an integral part of this new and exciting cancer research.
Take Aim at Cancer Research Fund Gaining Major Traction
For two decades, our partner MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) has been hosting the fundraising event, A Conversation With a Living LegendSM, continuously attracting larger-than-life personalities and overwhelming support for the institution. Since its inception in 1990, the event has raised more than $11 million for cancer research and patient care programs.
Most recently, Dec. 3rd at the Hilton Americas Hotel in Houston, Hall of Famer and Living Legend honoree Hank Aaron shared personal stories from his 23-year Major League Baseball career. Former Houston Astro Jeff Bagwell introduced Aaron and CBS News reporter Bob Schieffer conducted the on-stage interview with the legend. Former CNN chairman and CEO and MD Anderson Board of Visitors member Tom Johnson was emcee of the event, raising over $400,000.
This Monday, May 17th, at the InterContinental Buckhead, as part of the first ever Living Legend event in Atlanta, our founder Jeff Wigbels will be receiving the Making Cancer History Award from MDACC. Honoring Jeff’s fight as a cancer survivor and dedication as a cancer research fund developer, the event will also include an interview with newly appointed Living Legend, Former Senator Sam Nunn. Once again Bob Shieffer will be conducting the interview and Tom Johnson will be emceeing the event.
Fundraising efforts for this sold-out Atlanta event have already surpassed that of the December event in Houston. All funds will go to Take Aim, representing a significant percentage of the overall $10 million we are looking to raise over the next five years. The fund is also poised to benefit from significant media coverage surrounding the event.
Past Making Cancer History Award recipients have included such notables as Laura Bush, T. Boone Pickens, Sam Donaldson, Sherry Lansing and Bob Shieffer to name a few. Stay tuned for a re-cap of the event in the next issue of this newsletter.
PARTNER SPOTLIGHT: GLENLYON WINERY
Since the inception of Take Aim at Cancer, Jeff has received an outpouring of love and support from too many people to list. His heart goes out to everyone. One of the very first supporters was Squire Fridell, owner of the GlenLyon Vineyards & Winery in Glen Ellen, CA in Sonoma Valley. A lover of fine wines and the joy they bring him in life, Jeff made the strategic decision early on in launching the fund that his would be built on a network of partners – corporate, philanthropic, and otherwise. A patron of GlenLyon and huge fan of Squire, Jeff decided GlenLyon would make for the perfect first ‘Celebration of Life’ partner. With his sights on the prospect of signing on other like-minded partners in the areas of music, travel, dining, art, etc., Jeff set out with Squire to create a model partnership in which the fund collaborates with a best-of-breed purveyor of goods to market a ‘Take Aim-branded’ product in the interest of supporting the fund. In this way, we have created the ‘Survivor’ wine label to market a wonderful blend of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon from GlenLyon, the first release of which was introduced last Fall from Squire’s 2008 vintage. Only forty cases were produced and sold last year generating almost $10,000 in cancer research proceeds. The wine itself received a 96 rating and has been very well received among wine critics.
This year Squire will be doubling the inventory of the Survivor wine he bottles. We are looking to you to help us spread the word and generate demand for the product. Our plan is to grow this brand slowly and methodically in the first few years, fine-tune our strategy, then increase distribution and add to the product portfolio once we’re on firm footing.
For more info on Survivor Wine and Squire Fridell, the our most generous partner, we encourage you to visit the website. We will be updating our site and notifying you of 2010 ordering opportunities in the months to come.
Please note: if you happen to find yourself in the bay area, you are encouraged to pay a visit to GlenLyon, where Squire has recently erected the ‘Survivor Tower’ on his property – the perfect vista from which to enjoy a glass of wine and look out at the rolling hills of the wine country.
TAKE AIM FOUNDER SPEAKS TO GLOBAL AUDIENCE AT AACR ANNUAL MEETING
As you may already have read, April 18th, at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C., Jeff participated in a panel discussion for the news media at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting. The session, entitled “Personalized Therapy of Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer,” was co-chaired by Dr. Herbst and Dr. Kim. The day was highlighted by the announcement of the first wave of results from the BATTLE trials in which Jeff has participated since the program’s inception in 2006.
As a patient of Dr. Herbst and participant in BATTLE, Jeff represented the patient perspective in presenting the success of these first-ever clinical trials to test biomarker-based, personalized therapies in patients with advanced, treatment resistant lung cancer. “The energy in the room was palpable as the BATTLE findings were discussed for the first time among a global audience of oncologists,” says Wigbels. “Speaking among their peers, Drs. Herbst and Kim clearly demonstrated that these trials will change the landscape of lung cancer research and that this study should lead to more precise clinical trials in which lung cancer patients will receive treatment based on the composition of the individual’s tumor rather than the classification of their disease.”
Media coverage of the event was outstanding. For articles printed by such leading publications as the Wall Street Journal, Houston Chronicle (which includes a great quote from Jeff), Bloomberg, NPR and several others, please visit the ‘Resources & Education’ section of our website (scroll down).
The AACR Annual Meeting attracts more than 17,000 members who share the latest discoveries and developments in the cancer research field. This year marked the 101st Annual Meeting.