DETROIT, April 29, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than $2.8 million was raised for the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute at its 33rd Annual Dinner, held April 25 at General Motors Design Dome. Annual Dinner Chairs were Debra and Bob Ferguson, senior vice president of Global Public Policy at General Motors Company. This year's event set new fundraising records for Karmanos, making it one of metro Detroit's most successful and glamorous events.
Thanks to the generosity of its many sponsors and supporters, approximately $2.3 million was raised leading up to Karmanos' Annual Dinner, with the event itself raising $500,000 more.
This year's Annual Dinner will benefit the expansion of Karmanos Cancer Institute's Intensive Care Unit and create a 24-hour acute care clinic, enhancing the care that patients receive at Karmanos.
"Debra and I were honored to serve as chairs of this outstanding event and to continue GM's long time support for the Karmanos Cancer Institute," said Bob Ferguson. "We know how important it is to provide cancer patients with the care and treatment they deserve and are thrilled to be able to support such a vital and important organization in Detroit."
This is the fifth consecutive year that a member of GM's senior leadership has chaired Karmanos' Annual Dinner, which was held in the newly-remodeled GM Design Dome, making it the first fundraising event to be held in the futuristic space.
Mary Barra, GM's chief executive officer, attended the evening's festivities and paid tribute to her friend, the late Lil Erdeljan, former Karmanos Cancer Institute board member and long-time Karmanos supporter. She announced that the Erdeljan family was contributing $50,000 to Karmanos' Nursing Department in Lil's memory.
"Lil made so many contributions of her time and resources that ultimately benefitted cancer patients," Barra said. "The ongoing success of the Annual Dinner is a testament to Lil's immense contributions. It was her vision, determination and hard work that helped bring the Annual Dinner to its current status as one of the community's finest and most successful events."
Host sponsor for the Annual Dinner was Cadillac. Nearly 600 guests enjoyed the elegant event and venue, which was flooded with beautiful lighting and lively music. A quartet from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra provided entertainment and guests reveled in a surprise performance by the electrifying violin quintet NUCLASSICA.
Hank Winchester, anchor/reporter for WDIV Local 4, returned once again this year to serve as emcee and passionate supporter of the Karmanos Annual Dinner.
Other highlights included several new production Cadillac vehicles on display, a seated dinner, a new Karmanos Wine Cellar service featuring high-end wines for purchase, a brief program and dancing. Guests also had the opportunity to participate in an exciting raffle, presented by David Yurman, for a beautiful David Yurman Cable Coil bracelet and matching earring set.
Another portion of the funds raised to support this year's Annual Dinner were in part thanks to David Flynn, owner of Flynn Auto Group in Ohio, who secured the winning bid of $200,000 for the first retail production Cadillac CT6, donated by Cadillac and auctioned at the Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auction in Palm Beach, Fla., earlier this month.
In addition to GM's contribution of the Cadillac CT6, the GM Foundation gave a generous donation of $500,000 for cancer research, making this the fourth consecutive year the GM Foundation has supported Karmanos' cutting-edge cancer research. Lear Corp. also showed its generosity by providing a $250,000 match for funds generated by the exciting live auction and dedicated giving portion at Annual Dinner. Guests quickly helped Karmanos meet that match by their generous response.
GM presented unique VIP experience auction packages which included: tickets to the NCAA 2016 Men's Final Four Game; Trump National Golf & Country Club Experience; a Cannes Film Festival Experience; dinner for 10 guests with Steve Kiefer, vice president, Global Purchasing and Supply Chain, General Motors; tickets to the WGC Cadillac Championship; a stay at the Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs; a Rolling Stones package; a Cadillac Racing Package; a J Mendel Fashion Package; and an INDY 500 Experience.
World champion auctioneer Shane Ratcliff, also known as "The King", delighted audiences with his vocal prowess. In doing so, he helped make the live auction the best in Karmanos' history, raising more than $367,000, with three packages selling for $100,000 each.
Since various high-level General Motors executives have chaired Karmanos' Annual Dinner for the past five years, the event has raised more than $10.7 million.
Ferguson also made the formal announcement that Steve Kiefer, vice president of Global Purchasing and Supply Chain, and his wife, Paula, will chair Karmanos' 34th Annual Dinner next spring, continuing GM's outstanding commitment to Karmanos' cancer care and research.
This year also represents a record for Annual Dinner in terms of support, with more event sponsors than ever before.
"Once again, General Motors, the GM Foundation and all of our generous sponsors and contributors have stepped up to the plate for the benefit of our patients," said Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO, Karmanos Cancer Institute. "Through everyone's support, Karmanos can continue its mission of providing exceptional cancer care and innovative cancer research that translates to better, more effective treatments in the future.
"On behalf of the entire Karmanos team and all our patients, I give my deepest gratitude for your heartwarming dedication to help us bring cancer under complete control."
In addition to Cadillac serving as Host Sponsor for Karmanos' 33rd Annual Dinner, other key sponsors included: Presenting Sponsor, Gallagher-Kaiser Corporation; Gala Sponsor, Edw. C. Levy Co.; Executive Sponsors, Becker Ventures, Commonwealth//McCann and McCann Worldgroup, and Kenwal Steel Corp.; Entertainment Sponsors, AVL Americas, Credit Union ONE and Johnson Controls, as well as Dinner Sponsors, AT&T, Crain Communications Inc, The Delphi Foundation, Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP, The Jeff Eller Group, LLC, Elizabeth and Michael Kojaian, Lear Corporation, Lowe Campbell Ewald, Quicken Loans, Roberti+White, UAW-GM Center for Human Resources and Worthington Industries.
Media sponsors included: Magazine Sponsor, HOUR Detroit and dbusiness Magazines; Radio Sponsor, WJR 760; and Television Sponsor, WDIV Local 4.
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 41 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.
About General Motors Co. General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.
About Cadillac Cadillac has been a leading luxury auto brand since 1902. Today Cadillac is growing globally, driven by an expanding product portfolio featuring dramatic design and technology. More information on Cadillac appears at www.cadillac.com. Cadillac's media website with information, images and video can be found at media.cadillac.com.
About the GM Foundation Since its inception in 1976, the GM Foundation has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to American charities, educational organizations and to disaster relief efforts worldwide. The GM Foundation focuses on supporting Education, Health and Human Services, the Environment and Community Development initiatives, mainly in the communities where GM operates. Funding of the GM Foundation comes solely from GM. The last contribution to the GM Foundation was made in 2001. For more information, visit www.gm.com/gmfoundation.