CULVER CITY, Calif., Jan. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- At last night's Hollywood Stands Up To Cancer fundraising event, Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) Co-Founder Katie Couric recognized MasterCard as a SU2C Visionary, a small group of donors who have each contributed more than $25 million. MasterCard then announced its new commitment of $10 million to support SU2C's innovative cancer research programs. Additionally, a new $6 million grant from The Lustgarten Foundation was announced which will be combined with funding from Cancer Research UK (CRUK) for a three-way collaborative, international pancreatic cancer dream team with SU2C.
Hollywood Stands Up To Cancer presented by the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) was chaired by Jim Toth and Reese Witherspoon, hosted by James Corden and featured a special performance by John Legend and Common. Between gifts from major donors and ticket sales, more than $16 million was pledged to fund Stand Up To Cancer's innovative research programs, including its support of The Jim Toth Sr. Breakthrough Lung Cancer Research Award established last year.
In presenting Stand Up To Cancer's Visionary Award to Chris McWilton, MasterCard's president for North America, Katie Couric said, "MasterCard's vision of bringing people together to do something priceless has brought extraordinary attention to our cause and has attracted millions of consumers. With donors like MasterCard, cancer doesn't stand a chance."
Many of the nearly 100 SU2C researchers representing leading institutions around the world at the 2015 Stand Up To Cancer Scientific Summit in Santa Monica attended the event at Culver City's The Book Bindery.
Celebrities in attendance included host James Corden; performers John Legend and Common; and Robert Downey Jr., Camila and Matthew McConaughey, Eva Mendes, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Tony Hale, Marg Helgenberger, Dan Bucatinsky, Katee Sackhoff, Karl Urban, Stacy Keibler, Embeth Davidtz, Poppy Montgomery, Mallory Jansen, and Katie Couric, along with most of SU2C's co-founders: Sherry Lansing, Lisa Paulsen, Rusty Robertson, Sue Schwartz, Pam Williams, Ellen Ziffren, Kathleen Lobb; and SU2C President Sung Poblete, Ph.D.
Event Chair Jim Toth noted, "The commonality among the greatest doctors and scientists taking on the monster that is cancer, and the creative minds in entertainment that make us laugh, cry, and provoke thought, is that we are all dreamers. Simply put: those who don't dream big, don't make a difference. Tonight was a celebration of those who do make a difference, and get us closer to the day when no child loses their grandpa far too early because of cancer."
"We are incredibly grateful to MasterCard, The Lustgarten Foundation, and to all of our donors for their steadfast belief in SU2C's research model," said Couric. "The funds they have pledged will help SU2C continue supporting critical research that has already saved lives, and will improve those of patients now and in the future."
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About The Lustgarten Foundation
The Lustgarten Foundation is America's largest private foundation dedicated to funding pancreatic cancer research. Based in Bethpage, New York, the Foundation supports research to find a cure for pancreatic cancer, facilitates dialogue within the medical and scientific community, and educates the public about the disease through awareness campaigns and fundraising events. The Foundation has provided millions of research dollars and assembled the best scientific minds with the hope that one day, a cure can be found. With the support of Cablevision Systems Corporation, a leading media and telecommunications company, 100 percent of every dollar donated to The Lustgarten Foundation goes directly to pancreatic cancer research. To learn more, visit www.lustgarten.org.
MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world's fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard's products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews , join the discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.
About the Stand Up To Cancer Initiative
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) raises funds to accelerate the pace of research to get new therapies to patients quickly and save lives now. SU2C, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, was established in 2008 by film and media leaders who utilize the industry's resources to engage the public in supporting a new, collaborative model of cancer research, and to increase awareness about cancer prevention as well as progress being made in the fight against the disease.
Current members of the SU2C Council of Founders and Advisors (CFA) include Katie Couric, Sherry Lansing, Lisa Paulsen, Rusty Robertson, Sue Schwartz, Pamela Oas Williams, Ellen Ziffren, and Kathleen Lobb. The late co-founder Laura Ziskin executive produced Stand Up To Cancer's Sept. 5, 2008, and Sept. 10, 2010, broadcasts. Lisa Paulsen and Pam Williams were executive producers, and the other CFA members were co-producers, of the 2014 telecast. SU2C was formally launched on May 27, 2008. Sung Poblete, Ph.D., R.N., has served as SU2C's president since 2011.
In addition to "Visionary" donors Major League Baseball, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, MasterCard, and The Sidney Kimmel Foundation for Cancer Research, other major donors and collaborators that are currently engaged with SU2C include Genentech, Prostate Cancer Foundation, American Cancer Society, The Safeway Foundation, Bristol-Myers Squibb, CVS Health, KWF (The Dutch Cancer Society), St. Baldrick's Foundation, The Lustgarten Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Sean Parker Foundation, Fox Family Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, Melanoma Research Alliance, Cancer Research Institute, Room Key, Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, Laura Ziskin Family Trust, Farrah Fawcett Foundation, Siemens, HPV and Anal Cancer Foundation, and The V Foundation for Cancer Research.
Stand Up To Cancer Canada was launched in July 2014 by EIF Canada. Organizations collaborating with the SU2C Canada initiative include the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, with support from The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC); the Canadian Cancer Society; the Cancer Stem Cell Consortium, with funding from Genome Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research; the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research; and The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). MasterCard and AstraZeneca Canada are the first Canadian corporate supporters of SU2C Canada.
For more information, visit standup2cancer.org.
SOURCE Entertainment Industry Foundation