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Winship Gala Raises $600,000 for Cancer Research

Development Communications | Aug. 2, 2012

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Pictured (L-R) are Fadlo R. Khuri, Winship deputy director; Ann Hastings, gala co-chair; Mary and John Brock, honorary chairs; Leslie Wierman, gala co-chair; Laura Palickar, wife of Walter J. Curran Jr.; and Walter J. Curran Jr., Winship executive director.

Winship Cancer Institute’s second gala raised more than $600,000 this year for research programs at Winship. It was an elegant evening of dinner, dancing, and celebrating achievements in the fight against cancer. With HOPE as its theme, the signature event, organized by Friends of Winship, sold out at the patron level. Gala co-chairs and Friends founding members Ann Hastings and Leslie Wierman and their dedicated committee did an outstanding job organizing this event, which recognized Mary and John F. Brock, CEO of Coca-Cola Enterprises, Inc., as honorary chairs.

Also this year, Winship successfully renewed its National Cancer Institute (NCI) cancer center designation status. Winship officials recently received formal notification from the NCI of its decision and learned that the NCI has allocated nearly $8 million in funding over the next five years to support the designation. Among the many reasons for the renewal are Winship's advances in lung cancer research, world-class multiple myeloma program, broad portfolio of cancer clinical trials, and head and neck cancer research effort, which is the Southeast's largest.

"On behalf of all of Winship's faculty and staff, we are grateful to the NCI for its continued support, and we appreciate that the reviewers recognized the outstanding nature of our research," says Walter J. Curran Jr., Winship's executive director.

A panel of 23 NCI-appointed cancer research experts reviewed Winship's application for this renewal and scored Winship at the "outstanding" level. Only 57 other centers nationwide that provide care to adult cancer patients hold this NCI cancer center designation, and Winship is the first and only NCI-designated cancer center in Georgia.

Curran stresses that this designation is at once an emblem of trust and a responsibility that Winship takes seriously. "The designation is not about bragging rights," he says. "It's about a standard of research and care that patients have learned to trust."