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13th annual gala in Chicago tops $2M

‚ÄčMore than $600,000 was raised for a new ACS program - ResearcHERS: Women Fighting Cancer

The American Cancer Society's 2019 Discovery Ball, one of Chicago's premier galas, raised more than $2.1 million this year. An after-party in the elegant Grand Ballroom in the Chicago Hilton featured a performance by the award-winning Canadian rock band, Barenaked Ladies.

The 13th annual gala, Where Hope Grows, featured UL as presenting sponsor and boasted nearly 800 guests and volunteers on Saturday, April 27.

Two individuals and two organizations were recognized for their support of American Cancer Society, and were introduced by our CEO Gary Reedy:

  • Cheryle Jackson, SVP, Global Business Development of AAR, and co-chair of the inaugural American Cancer Society ResearcHERs campaign, was recognized with the Survivorship Award in recognition of her courage, grit and grace navigating breast cancer and using her trials as an opportunity to mentor others and make a difference in their fight against cancer.
  • Longtime volunteer, Tyler Prince, is EVP for Salesforce and was recognized with the Leadership Award. From serving on our Illinois Area Board, as a vice chair of the Discovery Ball, as a Taste of Hope committee member and most courageously for sharing his story of surviving colon cancer. He has made a significant impact in the work ACS does as an organization.
  • North Chicago-headquartered global biopharmaceutical company, AbbVie, was recognized as the Lifetime Workplace Giving honoree in recognition of their lifetime giving history of more than $4.6 million to ACS. In 2018, AbbVie's annual Employee Giving Campaign raised more than $800,000 for American Cancer Society.
  • The Boeing company was recognized for their record-breaking success of Discovery Ball 2017, raising an astounding $6 million for the Society's mission, and for their innovative approach to employee engagement. This is the second time they have received the Corporate Partnership Award.

Survivor speaker Joe Koenig, president of St. Louis-based World Wide Technology shared his personal and inspiring story of tongue cancer and led guests to a paddle raise of more than $600,000 for a new ACS program, ResearcHERS: Women Fighting Cancer. A video spotlighted doctors and researchers involved in the program and included Drs. Funmi Olopade, Michelle Le Beau, Huiping Liu. and Kathy Goss, and student researchers Aysha Ahmad and Hannah Lin. The goal of ResearcHERS, rolled out this spring in North Central, South, and West Regions, is to raise more than $1 million by women to fund women-led research at ACS. The program is expected to be rolled out to all Regions next year.

Contributing to the evening's fundraising success was a spirited live auction which included a private dinner and party at TAO Chicago, a Chicago sports fan package including Bears, Bulls, and Cubs tickets, a night at the 2019 Primetime Emmy Awards, a trip to and a chance to sing on stage with featured performers Barenaked Ladies, and more.

Since 2007, the Discovery Ball has raised more than $36 million!

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