“We can make incremental miracles,” said contemporary artist Vanessa German as she addressed a sold-out crowd during the Hillman Cancer Center Gala. “We are the hope. This is what we have. We have each other, we have courage. … When everyone says ‘We want to quit,’ we say, ‘No!’ ”
Endurance, encouragement, hope. It was a message that resonated without fail on the evening of Oct. 2, as physicians, supporters and survivors were never at a loss for words when it came to recognizing an unwavering support system.
“We’re truly grateful to have so many dedicated sponsors on so many levels,” said Dr. Nancy Davidson, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and UPMC CancerCenter.
Following cocktail hour, guests including UPMC prez Jeffrey and Stefania Romoff, honorary chair Sy Holzer, co-chairs Rebecca Cost Snyder and Frank andDebbie Coonelly, Gov. Tom Corbett and first lady Susan Corbett, Dr. Art Levine andLinda Melada, PNC/UPCI Director’s Distinguished Scholar Dr. Adam and Jill Brufsky, Pitt Chancellor Pat Gallagher, Chip Ganassi, Anne Lewis and James Zeszutek,Vanessa and David Morehouse, Susie and Gregg Perelman, Bonnie and Tom VanKirk, Deb Wheeler, and Christina and Carlos Cardoso were ushered into the bowl of Consol Energy Center.
In an atmosphere that stunned with florals by Hens & Chicks and colorful linens by Mosaic, the ambiance kicked up a notch during a delicate-yet-powerful silhouette dance and shadow performance by Le Ombre. Nothing, however, matched the heartfelt tribute from cancer survivor Terry George as he thanked UPMC CancerCenter chair Dr. Stanley Marks and his team.
“(They) always gave me hope. I never felt alone. (They) were always by my side. It’s hard to find the words to thank them. I’m thankful for everyone at UPMC for giving me the chance to watch my sons grow and to be a father,” George said.
The event raised a whopping $5.5 million.