NORWALK, Conn., Oct. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) joined forces with some of the biggest names in the music industry in its ongoing fight against cancer at the 15th Anniversary MMRF Fall Gala last night. All funds raised at this special event, which took place at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich in Old Greenwich, CT, will support the development of life-extending treatments for multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer. The event, co-chaired by Karen and Michael Reinert, was attended by more than 1,300 supporters. Michael Reinert is a Partner at Fox Rothschild LLP and is a member of the MMRF Board of Directors. Co-anchor of CNBC's Squawk on the Street, Carl Quintanilla, served as Master of Ceremonies.
At last night's event, five-time Grammy Award winner and music industry legend Clive J. Davis was honored with the MMRF Spirit of Hope Award, in recognition of his passion for helping his fellow man. Also, N. Anthony Coles, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc., was honored at the gala with the MMRF Corporate Leadership Award for Onyx's leadership in the development and commercialization of innovative therapies for improving the lives of people with cancer.
"It is truly an honor to receive this award from the MMRF, a foundation that is changing how everything is being done today in cancer research," said Davis. "This event will enable the MMRF to continue its vital work in accelerating the development of life-extending treatments, to the benefit of multiple myeloma patients and those affected by other uncommon cancers"
The award ceremony was followed by a star-studded tribute concert in Davis' honor featuring Academy Award-winning actress and Grammy Award-winning recording artist Jennifer Hudson, R&B and Pop sensation Earth, Wind & Fire and winner of NBC's The Voice, Jermaine Paul.
"I am so proud to be here supporting the MMRF, an organization that is truly changing the course of cancer research," said Hudson. "The MMRF is a leader in the field of cancer research and has helped to bring new hope to so many patients and families affected by this devastating disease. I hope that my participation at this event will help raise awareness of this rare and incurable cancer and the amazing work of this groundbreaking foundation."
The MMRF has been recognized as one of the nation's most innovative cancer research organizations. Significant MMRF achievements made possible by funding from programs like the MMRF Fall Gala include: providing access to life-extending drugs for patients who need them, sequencing the multiple myeloma genome, and helping to bring five new myeloma drugs to market in less than 10 years – including the July 2012 FDA approval of Onyx's KyprolisTM, to which the MMRF provided pivotal support to advance its development.
"We are so thankful to everyone who joined us to celebrate this special event to support our urgent work," said Kathy Giusti, Founder and CEO of the MMRF and a myeloma patient. "We are especially grateful to our honored guest Clive J. Davis and the wonderful musicians, Jennifer Hudson, Earth, Wind & Fire and Jermaine Paul who shared their talent with us this evening. Their endorsement of our mission is critical to raising awareness of this rare cancer."
For further information and images please contact Kimberly Ryan of Ogilvy Public Relations at 646-464-1553.
About the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)
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 $200 million since its inception and directs 90% of total budget to research and related programming. As a result, the MMRF has been awarded Charity Navigator's coveted four four-star rating for nine consecutive years, the highest designation for outstanding fiscal responsibility and exceptional efficiency. 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 2012, 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.
About Jennifer Hudson
An Academy Award-winning actress, Grammy Award-winning recording artist, best-selling author and clothing designer, Jennifer Hudson is an extraordinary talent. In 2004, she gained national acclaim as a contestant on the third season of American Idol. Hudson made her award-winning film debut in the 2006 production of Dream girls and her chart-topping music debut in 2008 with Arista Records, which was founded by Davis. Hudson became the national spokesperson for Weight Watchers in 2010.
About Earth Wind & Fire
Earth, Wind & Fire is one of the most innovative Pop and R&B music forces of the 20th century. The group was signed to Columbia Records in 1972 by Davis. With a career spanning over four decades, six Grammy Awards, eight #1 R&B singles, eight Double Platinum Top 10 Pop albums, and more than 90 million albums sold, VH1 ranked Earth, Wind & Fire as number 60 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of Rock & Roll.
About Jermaine Paul
Winner of the second season of NBC's The Voice, Jermaine Paul is currently recording his debut album set for release at the top of December. Paul, a world-renowned vocalist, previously sang background vocals for superstar Alicia Keys. Paul notably performed on Keys' Grammy-Award winning album The Diary of Alicia Keys, which was released by Davis' J Records and was nominated himself for a Grammy for a duet. His debut single titled "I Believe in This Life" will premier worldwide on November 8th.
SOURCE Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation