DETROIT, May 5, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 450 guests attended the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute's 29th Annual Dinner gala on Saturday, April 30, at the beautiful General Motors Heritage Center, in Sterling Heights. Dan Akerson, chairman and chief executive officer for General Motors Company, and his wife Karin, chaired the event. The Annual Dinner raised more than $868,000, which includes a $50,000 grant from the General Motors Foundation. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Joseph Dresner Family Bone Marrow Transplant and Hematologic Malignancies Center at Karmanos, which is currently in development. The Dresner Center will serve hundreds of patients each month who are being treated for leukemia, multiple myeloma, lymphoma and other hematologic disorders. This center will expand Karmanos' ability to conduct cancer research and clinical trials focusing on these diseases.
Paul W. Smith, morning show host from News/Talk 760 WJR, served as Master of Ceremonies. The program included remarks from Dan Akerson, as well as comments from Karmanos Cancer Institute Board Chair Alan S. Schwartz; and Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of the Karmanos Cancer Institute. Acknowledgement was also given to Joseph Dresner, for his generous $2.5 million charitable donation given last year to create the Dresner Center at Karmanos.
"General Motors is honored to support the Karmanos Cancer Institute, one of the most reputable cancer centers in the nation," said Akerson. "Whether it's developing award-winning vehicles or the latest cancer treatments, the Motor City is home to a community of innovative, caring people. On behalf of the entire GM family, Karin and I salute Karmanos for its dedication to defeating cancer."
The black-tie event featured a cocktail reception, sit-down dinner and strolling desserts. Guests viewed the exquisite collection of GM's classic automobiles and other vehicles, as well as the one-of-a-kind concept cars. Attendees also had their photo taken with a 1959 Cadillac Classic.
The super silent auction and the exclusive Somerset Collection auction brought in collectively nearly $54,000. A special raffle sponsored by Tiffany & Co. brought in another $12,600. The lucky winner received a glamorous, 18-karat, white gold timepiece with diamonds and a quartz resonator. Swiss made, this exquisite timepiece is valued at $13,000. Entertainment for the event was provided by Marvelless Mark Productions. The special Candle Tribute Program, through which individuals could honor or pay tribute to a loved one, was matched dollar to dollar by Honigman Miller Schwartz & Cohn LLP.
"The success and ongoing work of the Karmanos Cancer Institute is made possible by our dedicated team of world-class physicians and researchers, as well as the incredible support of many donors and sponsors, including General Motors and the General Motors Foundation," said Dr. Bepler. "We are truly grateful for the support of General Motors and our community."
Dr. Bepler added, "Thanks to the generosity of Joseph Dresner, who made the initial gift for the Joseph Dresner Family Bone Marrow Transplant and Hematologic Malignancies Center, and all who supported this year's Annual Dinner, we are creating a unified center where all doctors involved in the care of patients with diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) will be able to see patients simultaneously and plan and implement joint treatment plans. This will provide well-coordinated care for our patients and enhance our ability to collect clinical data and samples for correlative laboratory research.
Executive Sponsor was Compuware Corporation. Host Sponsor was General Motors Company.
Entertainment Sponsor was The Suburban Collection. Dinner Sponsors included: Delphi Foundation; Lil and Alex Erdeljan; Edw. C. Levy Co.; Kenwal Steel Corp.; Leo Burnett & Digitas; Johnson Controls; and Trott & Trott. Candle Tribute Matching Sponsor was Honigman Miller Schwartz & Cohn LLP. Magazine Sponsor was HOUR Detroit and dBusiness Magazines. Raffle Sponsor was Tiffany & Co.
Other major Sponsors included: Ally Financial; AVL Americas; Becker Ventures; Cadillac; Comerica Bank; Covisint; Detroit Medical Group; Kellie and Mike Ferrantino; Ford Motor Company; George P. Johnson Company; Elizabeth and Michael Kojaian; Lear Corporation; The Professional Group; PVS Chemicals, Inc.; Sigma Associates, Inc.; and the Barry and Stephanie Zekelman Foundation.
About the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Located in mid-town Detroit, Michigan, the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute is one of 40 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Caring for nearly 6,000 new patients annually on a budget of $216 million, conducting more than 700 cancer-specific scientific investigation programs and clinical trials, Karmanos is among the nation's best cancer centers. Through the commitment of 1,000 staff, including nearly 300 physicians and researchers on faculty at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, and supported by thousands of volunteer and financial donors, Karmanos strives to prevent, detect and eradicate all forms of cancer. Its long-term partnership with the WSU School of Medicine enhances the collaboration of critical research and academics related to cancer care. Karmanos is southeastern Michigan's most preferred hospital for cancer care according to annual surveys conducted by the National Research Corporation. Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D., is the Institute's president and chief executive officer. For more information call 1-800-KARMANOS or go to www.karmanos.org.
SOURCE Karmanos Cancer Institute