More than 1,200 People Come Together to Advance Cancer Research at Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation's (MMRF) Fall Gala Raising Nearly $2 million
Diana Krall and Paul Simon Wow the Crowd with First-Ever Musical Collaboration
Norwalk, CT — November 2, 2010
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) brought together over 1,200 supporters, including many patients and their loved ones, as well as celebrity guests, at its 14th annual Fall Gala on Saturday Oct. 30, in Greenwich, Connecticut. The premier benefit raised more than $1.9 million to support the MMRF’s efforts to develop next-generation treatments for patients with multiple myeloma, a rare and incurable blood cancer.
Jazz pianist and vocalist Diana Krall and her sister Michelle Krall Wigmore received the MMRF’s Spirit of Hope Award in honor of their steadfast and impressive support of myeloma patients and their families. The Spirit of Hope Award is awarded annually to individuals who inspire hope with their perseverance in overcoming personal obstacles such as a cancer diagnosis. Diana and Michelle’s mother, Adella Krall, passed away in 2002 following a courageous journey with multiple myeloma. The Krall family has passionately fundraised for myeloma patient care and research both in the U.S. and in their native country of Canada raising a combined total of over $6 million – including over $570,000 for the MMRF. Diana’s performance of her mother’s most beloved songs made the evening especially memorable.
“The MMRF supported the development of treatments that gave our mother an additional six years after her diagnosis. We keep the momentum going by continuing to raise funds so the next generation of treatments reach patients living with multiple myeloma as quickly as possible – giving them more precious time with their families,” said Krall, a member of the MMRF Honorary Board of Directors, who, along with Wigmore, established the MMRF Krall Family Fund to raise awareness and research funds to this end.
Paul Simon, 12-time Grammy Award winner, inductee to the Songwriters Hall of Fame and music legend, performed as the evening’s very Special Guest. Simon has actively pursued numerous philanthropic endeavors throughout his illustrious career.
“The MMRF is a truly outstanding organization that has shown real results for patients living with multiple myeloma. It is a pleasure to support my good friends, MMRF Founder Kathy Giusti and her husband Paul, and to join them, on this occasion, in moving their mission forward,” said Paul Simon, who performed several classic hits before inviting Krall to join him for a set. It was the first time the artists had performed together.
As a testament to her commitment to patients and families living with cancer, Deborah Norville, Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist, New York Times best-selling author and a member of the MMRF Honorary Board of Directors, served as Mistress of Ceremonies for the 9th year. Hervé Hoppenot, President of Novartis Oncology, was honored with the MMRF Corporate Leadership Award for Novartis Oncology’s leadership and vision in driving the development of some of today’s most important oncology treatments. Other special guests included CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla, Co-Anchor of “Squawk-Box” and a member of the MMRF Honorary Board of Directors, and his wife, Judy Chung.
The MMRF’s Courage and Commitment Award was presented to Michael Reinert, Executive Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs for the Universal Motown Republic Group. Reinert recently wrote and starred in his first play, “So Tell Me, What Can I Do?” He developed the acclaimed one-man show while undergoing treatment for multiple myeloma. Reinert generously presented the MMRF with the proceeds from the production.
“We are extremely grateful to all those who made the MMRF Fall Gala such a magnificent evening, especially our inspiring honorees, outstanding performers and incredible speakers,” said Kathy Giusti, a multiple myeloma patient and Founder and CEO of the MMRF. “The incredible commitment to patients living with multiple myeloma that we all witnessed at the Gala is nothing short of remarkable and will continue to shine as a beacon of hope on our mission to bring patients better treatments – faster.”
PepsiCo served as the Gala Presenting Sponsor and Celgene Corporation comprised the evening’s Leadership Circle. MMRF Fall Gala Vice Chairs were Lori and Christopher Alf, Angelique and James Bell, Richard Bellas, Paula and Warren Berliner, Elizabeth Donald, Kathy and Paul Giusti, Elizabeth and Traver Hutchins, Dan Kennedy – Keno Graphics, Lori Marcus, Mitchell B. Modell, Ronny Mosston – Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Anne and David Ogilvy, Chuck Ortner, Anne-Marie and Paul Queally, Karen and Michael Reinert, and Marcie and Miles Stuchin.
About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) was established in 1998 as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization by twin sisters Karen Andrews and Kathy Giusti, soon after Kathy's diagnosis with multiple myeloma. The mission of the MMRF is to relentlessly pursue innovative means that accelerate the development of next-generation multiple myeloma treatments to extend the lives of patients and lead to a cure. As the world's number-one private funder of multiple myeloma research, the MMRF has raised over $140 million since its inception to fund nearly 120 laboratories worldwide, including 40 new compounds and approaches in clinical trials and pre-clinical studies and has facilitated 26 clinical trials through its affiliate organization, the Multiple Myeloma Research Consortium (MMRC). As exceptional stewards of its donor’s investments, the MMRF consistently surpasses its peers in fiscal responsibility. For more information about the MMRF, please visit www.themmrf.org.
About Multiple Myeloma
Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer. The five-year relative survival rate for multiple myeloma is approximately 38 percent, one of the lowest of all cancers. In 2010, more than 20,000 adults in the United States will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma and nearly 11,000 people are predicted to die from the disease.