Photo Credit: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages
USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of the nation’s original comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute in 1972, raised more than $2 million at its 2015 star-studded black tie gala fundraiser held October 10th at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
The event honored philanthropists Dana and David Dornsife with the Visionary Award and physician-scientist Parkash Gill, M.D. who was recognized with the Research Innovation Award for his ground-breaking cancer research as one of USC’s elite team of scientific researchers. Funds raised support the innovative cancer research at the 43-year-old USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center that offers approximately 250 clinical cancer trials each year.
The honorary event hosts included C.L. Max Nikias, president of the University of Southern California; Carmen A. Puliafito, M.D., M.B.A., dean of the Keck School of Medicine of USC; and Stephen B. Gruber, M.D., PhD., M.P.H., director, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. Raymond A. and Shauna Mirra of RAM Capital were the evening’s presenting sponsor and honorary chairs.
Dean Puliafito welcomed the more than 500 guests before introducing the evening’s emcee, Emmy Award-winning actor, comedian and “Saturday Night Live” alum Dana Carvey. Dr. Gruber then took the stage to thank the evening’s supporters, that included Ray and Shauna Mirra, presenting sponsors and honors chairs, and Tom and Holly Gores of Platinum Equity, the platinum sponsor for the event. Dr. Gruber also spoke of the exceptional research being done by the more than 200 world-class faculty scientists at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.
A highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Norris Visionary Award to Dana and David Dornsife. The Dornsifes, recognized as international philanthropic leaders, were honored for their advocacy and funding for cancer research and their help with patient treatment, especially cancer patients who have a clinical trial as their only option for treatment.
Dana Dornsife is president and founder of Lazarex Cancer Foundation, whose mission is to help end-stage cancer patients navigate their clinical trial options and to provide financial support. She founded the organization after losing a brother at age 48 to pancreatic cancer. The Lazarex Cancer Foundation is dedicating to bringing scientific and medical institutions together with government to fund research and find faster cures and treatments for cancer. David serves as vice president of the Hedco Foundation, whose mission is health and education improvement.
Dana Carvey’s comedic monologue led into the introduction of special guest Pierce Brosnan. The actor who played James Bond, among other memorable roles, was on hand to introduce his good friend and multi-Grammy Award winner Don Henley. Currently touring for his new album, the founding member of the Eagles and passionate environmental activist, Henley brought the crowd to its feet with performances of classic favorites and .
Dana Carvey’s comedic monologue led into the introduction of special guest Pierce Brosnan. The actor who played James Bond, among other memorable roles, was on hand to introduce his good friend and multi-Grammy Award winner Don Henley. Currently touring for his new album, Cass County, the founding member of the Eagles and passionate environmental activist, Henley brought the crowd to its feet with performances of classic favorites All She Wants To Do Is Dance, Desperado and Hotel California.