DETROIT, Oct. 26, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Approximately 450 guests attended the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute's 23rd Annual Partners Night on Saturday, Oct. 22. Partners Night, held at Russell Industrial Center in Detroit, follows the Partners Golf Classic held Sept. 26 at Franklin Hills Country Club. The Golf Classic and the Night, together known as the Partners Events, are signature fundraisers for the Institute. This year's Partners Events raised more than $750,000 to help advance cancer research at Karmanos, specifically to create the Dr. Vainutis K. Vaitkevicius Endowed Chair in Cancer Research. This year's Partners honorees were longtime Karmanos supporters and community philanthropists Linda Dresner, owner of Linda Dresner, Inc.; and Ed Levy, Jr., CEO of Edw. C. Levy Co., and member of Karmanos Cancer Institute's board of directors.
"Linda and I are truly honored to be recognized as this year's Partners Honorees," said Ed Levy, Jr. "We have been supporters of Karmanos Cancer Institute for many years. We know first-hand the incredible life-saving patient care and research that takes place at Karmanos every day. We are grateful to the dedicated team at Karmanos who never stop doing all they can so that each patient has the best chance of surviving their disease.
"Karmanos is an incredibly important institution in our community, and one that we are proud to support."
This year's Partners Night was another unique and exciting experience for guests from start to finish. The evening kicked off with a strolling cocktail reception with passed hors d'oeuvres and delicious dinner stations by Forte Belanger; and entertainment by the John Arnold Trio. Visual artist Daniel Cascardo created a one-of-a-kind painting on site that brought in a winning bid of $1,500. One lucky guest won the raffle of a $5,000 gift card to Somerset Collection, provided by Somerset Collection.
The program welcomed supporters and recognized the outstanding philanthropy of Linda Dresner and Ed Levy, Jr., and highlighted the unprecedented career of Vainutis K. Vaitkevicius, M.D., who has been serving cancer patients for more than 60 years. The program was followed by a fashion show presented by Linda Dresner titled, WO-MAN: A Celebration of the Independent Woman, which featured more than 30 models wearing unique, edgy styles that captivated the audience. After the fashion show, the party continued with music by DJ Captn20, complemented by a drummer and saxophonist who brought guests to the dance floor. A Detroit Circus stilt walker and stilt acrobat amazed guests, topping off a truly memorable evening.
"This year's Partners Events are special for a few reasons; two of which are Linda Dresner and Ed Levy, Jr., this year's honorees and outstanding philanthropic supporters of Karmanos Cancer Institute," said Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO.
"Ed has been a dedicated board member of Karmanos Cancer Institute, formerly the Michigan Cancer Foundation, since 1978, providing invaluable insight and guidance; and Linda's creative vision and support has brought excitement and glamour to many of our events, including this year's Partners. We are extremely grateful to both of them for being such great ambassadors of Karmanos and for all they do for our cancer patients.
"I'm also privileged to recognize Dr. Vaitkevicius, fondly referred to as Dr. Vee, who is a legend at Karmanos and one of Michigan's leading oncologists for more than 60 years. His stellar reputation is known throughout the world. Dr. Vee's pioneering work in cancer research has led to new global standards of care and treatment.
"Dr. Vee helped grow Karmanos' clinical practice and secured the prestigious comprehensive cancer center designation from the National Cancer Institute, a distinction that Karmanos has held continuously since 1978. Today, Dr. Vee serves as president emeritus of Karmanos. We have been fortunate to have Dr. Vee at Karmanos all these years. He is loved by our entire staff, as well as his patients. To honor and continue Dr. Vee's legacy, funds raised from this year's Partners Events will help create the Dr. Vainutis K. Vaitkevicius Endowed Chair in Cancer Research."
Dr. Bepler added, "Special thanks goes out to Tom Alongi and Adam Speck, executive co-chairs of this year's Partners Committee, along with the entire committee; and all of our generous sponsors and guests for supporting Karmanos' ground-breaking research so that more people can survive this disease."
This is the 23rd year that the Partners Committee has given their time, talent and resources to raise awareness and engage the community to help support Karmanos Cancer Institute through the Partners Golf Classic and Partners Night. Since the committee began, the Partners Events have raised more than $16 million to help advance cancer research.
The 2016 Partners Sponsors
Host Sponsors are Linda Dresner and Ed Levy, Jr. Corporate Partner is Quicken Loans. Platinum Sponsors include: Cambridge Consulting Group; Credit Union ONE; Delphi Foundation; Ferrantino Foundation; Ford Motor Company Fund; The Forbes Company and Somerset Collection; Honigman; Kenwal Steel Corp.; Elizabeth and Michael Kojaian; Eunice and Milton Ring; Rebecca and Gary Sakwa. Magazine Sponsors are Hour Detroit and Dbusiness Magazines. Radio Sponsor is News/Talk 760 WJR. Gold Sponsors include: Christine and John Giampetroni and PVS Chemicals, Inc.
The 2016 Partners Committee
Executive Co-Chairs are Tom Alongi and Adam Speck. Partners Committee Members include: Sunny Connolly, Dan Cornwell, KC Crain, Ethan Davidson, Brian Eisenberg, Jay Farner, Scott Faulkner, Amanda Fisher, Jason Geisz, Brenda Guinan Huddy, David Jacob, Nick Jallos, Niki Johnson, Dino Kostopoulos, Cheryl Luckoff, Howard Luckoff, Sarah Mally, Christopher Mann, Sean A. Metrose, Michelle Mio, J.J. Modell, Jason Pace, Carol Ritchie, Brett Schneider, Jill Schumacher, Craig Solgan and David Thewes.
How Partners Started
Karmanos Cancer Institute long-time supporters, Anna and Harry Korman, had the vision to begin Partners in memory of their late daughter, Suzanne, who died of cancer at the age of 36. The Kormans established the committee as a way to engage young people in raising money for cancer research, knowing that research would lead to advancements in treatment options and early detection methods.
The Kormans' daughter and son-in-law, Eunice and Milton Ring, and other family members continue the Kormans' legacy, along with the Partners Committee, which has been hosting the Partners Events now for 23 years. The Partners are united in the fight against cancer and are dedicated to solely raising funds for research at Karmanos Cancer Institute, a subsidiary of McLaren Health Care, through their two-part signature fundraiser known as the Annual Partners Events.
For more information on Partners Events, visit www.karmanos.org/partners.
About the Partners
The Partners are a group of hardworking and "hands-on" volunteers who have pooled their ideas and resources and joined together for the sole purpose of raising funds for the Karmanos Cancer Institute. Many of these dedicated volunteers are motivated by their own personal struggles or those of loved ones battling this disease. The Partners are dedicated to making sure that other families, who are facing this illness, always have a place to turn where they will receive the ultimate in patient care, education and treatment. For more information, go to http://www.karmanos.org/partners.
About the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Located in mid-town Detroit, Michigan, the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, a subsidiary of McLaren Health Care, is one of 47 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. Karmanos is among the nation's best cancer centers. Through the commitment of 1,000 staff, including nearly 300 physicians and researchers on faculty at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, and supported by thousands of volunteer and financial donors, Karmanos strives to prevent, detect and eradicate all forms of cancer. Its long-term partnership with the WSU School of Medicine enhances the collaboration of critical research and academics related to cancer care. Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D., is the Institute's president and chief executive officer. For more information call 1-800-KARMANOS or go to www.karmanos.org.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/karmanos-cancer-institutes-23rd-annual-partners-events-raise-more-than-750000-300351834.html
SOURCE Karmanos Cancer Institute