Skanska USA Building, Inc. presented the 2012 Magnolia Ball on Saturday, April 21, 2012, at the A La Carte Event Pavilion in Tampa. This popular event sells out each year, with about 750 people attending, the major fund-raiser of the year for Moffitt Cancer Center. This year, Jeff and Julie Wooley were Chairpersons for the 19th Annual Magnolia Ball. Once again, supporters contributed generously, giving $3.34 million for patient care, research, education, and the Magnolia Lodging Program.
Former head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and ESPN commentator Jon Gruden and his wife Cindy Gruden, Moffitt Community Volunteer, were the Chairs of the 2011 Magnolia Ball. Jon Gruden said, “I hate cancer, and Cindy and I are happy to support the Magnolia Ball and Moffitt each year.” In the live auction, Gruden bid $15,000 for a trip to watch a Washington Redskins game in Redskins Manager Bruce Allen’s suite, Allen’s donation for the 2012 auction. Bruce Allen and his wife, Kiersten Allen, Moffitt Community Volunteer, were the Chairs of the 2010 Magnolia Ball.
Jon Gruden introduced Tamara Phillips, a Plant High School teacher who fought acute myeloid leukemia. Phillips received a standing ovation when she was introduced, and again when she completed her speech, her story about her cancer experience. She spoke about the quality of patient care. “Physicians, nurses, staff members, all the people at Moffitt made me feel like I was at home,” she said.
Dr. Nick Valvano of the V Foundation gave a brief speech, issuing a $500,000 Matching Challenge from the organization. “We are going to invest our Foundation’s money in a place where it gets results,” Valvano said. The Moffitt Foundation posted a special thanks to Nick Valvano on the big screens overhead: Your committment to preventing and curing cancer is an inspiration to those who fight the disease here in Florida and across the nation. Thank you for your leadership and generous support of Moffitt. We are proud to call you friend and thrilled to have you here with us tonight. Nick and his wife Karen Valvano joined Ed and his wife Marsha Droste as honorary co-chairs of the 2008 Magnolia Ball.
The Honorable H. Lee Moffitt, founder of Moffitt Cancer Center, introduced William S. (Bill) Dalton, Ph.D, M.D., President/CEO and Center Director of the Moffitt Research Institute since 2006. “Moffitt is just beginning,” said Bill Dalton. “We need your support. There is a sense of urgency that we all must meet.”
Dalton referred to the exciting news for 2012, an announcement by the Institute’s Board of Directors in February about a new Personalized Medicine Institute created to make a national impact in the war on cancer. Dalton will dedicate his entire focus to the establishment of the new institute and the growth of Moffitt’s innovative biotechnology subsidiary, M2Gen – Moffitt Genetics Corporation, as its CEO. Dr. Alan List will advance to the position of Moffitt CEO. Dr. Thomas Sellers will advance to the position of Center Director.
“Total Cancer Care is about partnering with patients and following them throughout their lifetime,” said Dalton. “It was philanthropic dollars that launched Total Cancer Care. It has placed Moffitt in the position to go ahead and devote my full time toward this goal. I get to do what I wake up each day and want to do.”
Dalton said he personally recruited Dr. Tom Sellers and Dr. Alan List to join the Moffitt Team. “I recruited Alan List from Arizona,” he said. “I recruited Tom Sellers from the Mayo Clinic. I met him and thought, this is just the guy we need.”
Click on the Video with this article and see an interview with Dr. William (Bill) Dalton, in which he explains the Total Cancer Care program, and how it is designed to care for the patient during the entire cancer journey.
It takes a lot of people working together to plan and orchestrate a great event like the Magnolia Ball. Click on the slide show with this article and see many of the people involved in this endeavor, from patrons and supporters, to Moffitt Foundation staff members, to servers and the Valet parking service.
Bernadette Mansur is the Senior Vice President of Communications for the National Hockey League, and the Executive Director of the NHL Foundation. Mansur has worked with the NHL for 13 years. “I get inundated with charitable requests as the Executive Director of the NHL Foundation,” she said. “Moffitt is one of the most worthwhile organizations that we have been associated with. Our committment for years has been that hockey fights cancer and Moffitt epitomizes that effort.”
Working toward the goal of fighting cancer, a personal goal for so many, the Ball is a labor of love and giving. Generous donations were made for the Silent Auction and the Live Auction, including items, event packages and trip packages, which are purchased just as magnanimously. There was a Chance Drawing for a $5,000 Royal Caribbean Cruise donated by AAA Travel, with 100 tickets sold at $100 each. People would give to Moffitt just because it’s needed, but the auctions make it so much more fun.
The cutest live auction item had to be the 10-week-old, cream colored French Bulldog puppy, donated by All About Puppies and Lucky Dog Pet Training. The puppies continue to be one of the most popular auction items, and the price paid for them keeps going up. Three years ago, Carl and Patti Czarnik bought the Spaniel they named Shelby, paying $5,000 for their winning bid. At last year’s Magnolia Ball, a female Golden Retriever puppy was bought for the winning bid of $8,000. This year, a little scared, quivering pup brought in $15,000 for Moffitt, after a bidding war that delighted the crowd.
Lisa Goedeke, homemaker and wife of Lt. Col. Chris Goedeke, USMC-Retired, who works for Gamma 88, said, “Gabrielle, the handler, was showing the puppy around at the beginning of the evening. Our friend, Bobby Jacobson, saw us looking at the puppy, and said, ‘You know, I am bidding on that puppy, and I am going to win it. I am going to win it for you.’ We didn’t really think he was serious, but he was going up and up when the bidding started!” she said. “When Bobby won the dog, he called us over to his table and said, ‘Here’s your dog!’ Chris and I were surprised and so happy. We already have a larger dog, but we were delighted to accept the cute puppy. Cheap Trick wanted to see the puppy, so we went backstage to show it to them. We named our puppy Bobby after our dear friend who won it for us! It was an incredible evening and having this little Frenchie come into our lives made it even more memorable!”
“We can’t thank Bobby enough, and we’ll always treasure the memory of how we got the puppy, ” said Lisa Goedeke. “Bobby the dog is a fabulous addition to our family. We have a ten-year-old girl named Ava and a 13-year-old boy named Matthew. They both love the dog and are helping with it.”
After the auctions, the “Rise To The Challenge” began, called by auctioneer Gary Connors, wherein people raised their personally numbered paddles and pledged donations to Moffitt. Fred Hames and his wife Lyn, on behalf of Skanska, increased the company’s committment of support, declaring, “We hate cancer, but we love Moffitt and everything they do.” Skanska has been a generous supporter of Moffitt for the past 15 years.
The Moffitt Cancer Center South Expansion Project was a large Skanska construction project with three major components, completed in 2009. Skanska won the construction bid for the new M2Gen building, with RS&H (Reynolds, Smith and Hills Inc.) chosen for the architects. Construction was scheduled to begin in January of 2012, to be completed in one year.
In this preview article, there is a list of the sponsors who made this Magnolia Ball possible. Many of the auction items that were available are also listed. The 19th Annual Magnolia Ball for Moffitt Cancer Center, April 21, 2012
Area government officials were at the Ball, including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Dana Young, Florida State Representative, and Mark Ober, Florida State Attorney. “I sit on two health care committees and I am very much involved in health care. I am happy to be here to support Moffitt,” said Dana Young.
Retired Senator Connie Mack, who attended the Ball with his wife Priscilla, represented Florida in the U.S. Congress for 18 years, with 12 years in the U.S. Senate, where he played a leading role in economic and health care issues. As a cancer survivor himself, Mack has always been a strong advocate for cancer research, early detection and treatment. At the time of his retirement from the Senate in 2001, Mack joined the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center Board of Directors as Chairman of the Board. He is now the Chair Emeritus of the Institute’s Parent Board and serves on the Board of Directors for M2Gen. Priscilla Mack, a breast cancer survivor, is the current Chairperson of the Miles for Moffitt Race event, coming up on May 12th. The Priscilla Mack Survivorship Award, which will be given to a deserving cancer survivor, is named for her, in honor of her fund-raising efforts for Moffitt’s cancer research, while raising awareness of cancer screening and prevention.
Steve Parag and Ronda Parag, from Metro Life Media, promote the Ball in their Tampa Bay Metro magazine feature “On the Town”. Ronda Parag is a breast cancer survivor. She has the highest praise for her team at Moffitt, Dr. Marie Catherine Lee, her Surgeon, Dr. Paul Smith, her Plastic Surgeon and Dr. Susan Minton, her Oncologist. The Parags sat by artist Sarah Dees, who created paintings to donate to the Magnolia Ball Silent Auction for the past two years. Dees is a cancer survivor who is grateful for her physician at Moffitt, Dr. David Shibata, Colorectal Surgical Oncologist and Head of Colorectal Oncology. “I was treated at another cancer center before I came to Moffitt,” said Dees. “Transferring to Moffitt was like coming to a different planet, where newer, better treatments were being used, replacing older ones that were considered obsolete. Dr. Shibata and Ione Townsend, his physician’s assistant, really listened to me, and included me in making decisions as part of my own patient care team. That meant the world to me. I came to understand first hand how Moffitt’s entire staff treats the whole person, not just the disease.” Dr. Shibata was recognized as the 2007-2008 Physician of the Year at Moffitt.
Robert Allen “Bob” Griese and his wife Shay Griese, Moffitt Community Volunteer, announced that they had a very special gift for guests of the Magnolia Ball, 100 special edition copies of the cookbook they wrote together, the Griese Spoon Cookbook. Wimmer Cookbooks sponsored the Special Limited Edition cookbooks for the 2012 gala. As stated in the book, Bob Griese combined excellence in two distinct areas, on the football field and in the broadcast booth. He is the father of three sons, one of them, Brian, being a retired NFL quarterback who followed his Dad’s footsteps into football. When Brian was only 12 years old, his mom and Bob’s wife died from cancer. Bob married again in 1994, and began his life over with Shay Griese. They now live in Jupiter, Florida. They wrote this Cookbook together, sharing recipes of their celebrity friends, to raise money to benefit Moffitt Cancer Center.
Cheap Trick rocked the house with a great show, celebrating their 35th anniversary together. The members of Cheap Trick are Robin Zander on lead vocals and guitar, Tom Petersson on bass and vocals, Rick Nielsen on lead guitar and vocals, and Bun E. Carlos on drums.
Robin and Pam Zander, who live on Davis Island in Tampa with their children, have been active supporters of the Magnolia Ball, so it was great to see Zander’s band take the stage this year. Their songs, many of which became hits in the seventies, are still fresh and fun, and the band played with delight and enthusiasm.
On one song near the end of the show, Rick Nielsen pulled out his immense five-neck special Hamer guitar. That was the extent of its use, probably because it is too heavy to hold up any longer than that. It still has that awe factor. In an interview with Guitar Digest about his guitar collection, Nielsen said, “I’ve owned over 2000 (guitars) in my 35 plus years of collecting. I now have about 250 pieces and that’s too many!”
Bun E. Carlos did not play at this event; a guest drummer sat in for him. Nielsen explained that two of his sons have been touring with Cheap Trick off and on for the last year, with their band “Harmony Riley.” He said that Bun E. had to have some surgery done on his back. Since Nielsen’s son Daxx knew most of the drum parts, his son has helped them out, “and he made a bad situation into a great thing,” said Nielsen.
Cheap Trick’s most recent album, called, “The Latest,” has been getting rave reviews worldwide. Guests of the Magnolia Ball received a CD including ten of the band’s greatest hits recorded LIVE in 2011. Check out Cheap Trick’s Web site, their Facebook page, their You Tube Channel, and their My Space page.
The mission of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute Foundation is to fund Moffitt Cancer Center’s contribution to the prevention and cure of cancer.
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute Foundation
The Moffitt Cancer Center Foundation
12902 Magnolia Drive
Tampa, FL 33612
800-456-3434, extension 1403
What’s new at Moffitt? Get the Moffitt April 2012 Newsletter.
Preview “TakeCharge!” the first phase of Moffitt’s new web redesign project that has recently launched. The section shows the new Moffitt.org design, which is coming soon. “TakeCharge!” includes survivors’ stories on video and information for patients, survivors and their loved ones.
Make May Moffitt Month
Make May Moffitt Month is an important month-long initiative that brings people together for a common cause – to end cancer. During this month-long fundraising and awareness effort, Make May Moffitt Month encourages companies and individuals around the Tampa Bay area to support cancer research at Moffitt Cancer Center, while learning about cancer and its risks. Gifts to Moffitt Cancer Center will be used to enhance research and clinical efforts, wherever the donations can do the most good.
The 19th Annual Magnolia Ball for Moffitt Cancer Center, April 21, 2012
Swim and run in May 2012 at two events to raise funds for Moffitt Cancer Center
Moffitt Cancer Center Launches New Personalized Medicine Institute
M2Gen Breaks Ground