LOS ANGELES, May 9, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Leaders in entertainment, medicine, politics, real estate, and business will gather at Tower Cancer Research Foundation's Tower of Hope Gala on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 to honor Dr. Philomena McAndrew, Abby and Alan Levy, and Dick, Sally and Alexandra Lippin and The Lippin Family Trust for their ongoing commitment to raising awareness about cancer, and their dedication to ending the disease. Several of Tower's noted Career Development Grants will be awarded to researchers at UCLA, Cedars-Sinai and UCSD as part of Tower's ongoing Power of Precision Campaign. The event will begin at 6:00 PM at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, 9876 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, California.
Tower's Power of Precision Campaign seeks to accelerate the pace of cancer research in molecular genetics and to promote translation of scientific advances into new life-saving therapies. Historically, cancer patients have usually received the same treatment as others who have the same type and stage of cancer. After decades of research, scientists now understand that patients' tumors have genetic changes that cause cancer to grow and spread. They have learned that the changes that occur in one person's cancer may not occur in others who have the same type of cancer. Precision medicine targets the changes in cancer cells that help them grow, divide and spread. This campaign will help enable researchers to explore promising therapies that specifically target these changes or block their effects.
All of this year's distinguished honorees share a commitment to stopping cancer and improving the lives of those affected by cancer. What is most interesting, however, is that Dr. Philomena McAndrew is the connective tissue that ties them all together. Abby Levy is a two-time cancer survivor and it was Philomena McAndrew who quarterbacked her care and led her and her husband Alan to Tower Cancer Research Foundation. Dick Lippin first met Philomena in the hallway of the hospital when his late wife Ronnie was gravely ill. He always remembered her honesty which was different from others. She was the person who connected Dick and the Lippin Family to Tower.
Dr. Philomena McAndrew is undeniably on everyone's list as one of the most respected oncologists in the country. A native of Philadelphia, she graduated from Villanova University and obtained her medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Philomena completed her internship and residency at Temple University Hospital and a fellowship in Hematology and Oncology at UCLA. She began her career in full time academic medicine at the UCLA School of Medicine. In 1987, she entered into practice in the Cedars-Sinai Community and became one of the founding members of Tower Hematology Oncology Medical Group. Philomena has been an investigator on several breast cancer studies, as her special interest is breast and other women's cancers. She has been involved in numerous hospital committees at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, including chairing the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee, serving as the Clinical Vice-Chief of Medicine at Cedars-Sinai and serving on the Cancer and the Medical Executive Committees. She is a member and Co-clinical director of Medical Oncology at the Saul and Joyce Brandman Breast Center, a Center of Excellence at Cedars-Sinai. Philomena has also served as a board member of several cancer-related charitable organizations, including the Wellness Community, the Lymphoma Research Foundation Medical Advisory Board and Research for Women's Cancer. In addition to maintaining a very active medical practice, she has been married for nearly forty years (to the same man!) and has two children. Philomena's warmth, compassion, good humor, and devotion to her patients have made her much loved.
A two-time breast cancer survivor, Abby Levy has dedicated countless hours to helping cancer patients conquer their fears, achieve a positive attitude, and get through their chemotherapy and radiation treatments with the least anxiety possible. After receiving Tower Cancer Research Foundation's Humanitarian Award in 2004, she joined the Tower Board of Directors and served as Board Chair from 2009 to 2011. However, Abby's involvement in health care extends beyond the Tower Cancer Research Foundation. She has been a member of the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Women's Guild Board for more than three decades and served as its president from 1998-2002.
Alan Levy is Chairman of Tishman International Companies, a commercial real estate management and development company headquartered in Los Angeles. His strong sense of community propelled him to become involved in multiple worthy causes, including the Board of Trustees for Harvard-Westlake School, the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, the Board of Councilors of the University of Southern California School of Social Work, and the Board of Directors of the Tower Cancer Research Foundation. In addition, he also serves as Honorary Consul for the Republic of Bulgaria for Southern California, is a founding Trustee of the Wende Museum of the Cold War, is a former Trustee of the Archives of American Art of the Smithsonian Institution, a former Chair of the American Art Council at Los Angeles County Museum of Art and sits on the Executive Committee of the Western Los Angeles Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Dick Lippin grew up on Long Island, New York, the son of two very hardworking and loving parents. After graduating from college, he headed to Wall Street. Soon after, he met his wife Ronnie, the two moved to Los Angeles and Mr. Lippin began working in the communications business. In 1986, he founded The Lippin Group. With offices in Los Angeles, New York and London, the firm represents some of the most prominent entertainment and media companies around the world. Ronnie continued working in the music business and became one of the most respected professionals in the industry representing major superstars including, Prince, Eric Clapton, Brian Wilson (The Beach Boys), the Bee Gees, Elton John and many, many others. Along the way they had a beautiful daughter, Alex. Unfortunately, in 2004, the Lippins hit a major roadblock. Ronnie was diagnosed with cancer and after battling this dreaded disease, she passed away in 2006. Having been married for a very long time, Dick, and Alex were faced with an emptiness and wondered where life would take them...and then Alex introduced Dick to Sally. Born in Glendale and raised in La Canada Flintridge, California, Sally worked for many years as an actress, while raising her two daughters, Kelly and Nicole. She appeared in television shows (including The Odd Couple, The Jeffersons, Happy Days and Welcome Back, Kotter) and numerous commercials. In 2009, Dick and Sally married. After graduating from Brandeis University, Alex began a career in communications, building a fashion, jewelry and special events division at The Lippin Group. In 2016, with her father's blessing, Alex left the Company to join Elyse Walker, where she currently heads up the company's marketing, jewelry and fine art departments. Dick, Sally and Alex consider themselves to be the luckiest of people because they are able to do the things that are the most important - to enrich the lives of others who are in need. In addition to the long partnership the Lippins have enjoyed with Tower and now USC, The Lippin Family Trust supports numerous programs around the country in areas including diversity, ethics and education. To the Lippins, there is no greater gift than the ability to give.
In the last two decades, Tower has raised well over $30 million, funding that supports a multitude of different scientific grants from one-year $100,000 Career Development Grants to five-year $500,000 Senior Investigator Grants to $1,000,000 Multi-disciplinary Discovery Funds. Tower's Discovery Fund encourages the pursuit of high-risk, high-reward research projects by providing scientists with funding up front, thereby removing barriers to entry. Tower believes that leading-edge and novel ideas may not yet qualify for traditional grant funding due to a lack of preliminary data.
Tower's patient support division, Magnolia House, is a unique integrative survivorship wellness center with in-depth programs offered at no cost to cancer survivors and their loved ones. Tower's goal is to help participants develop a physical and emotional toolkit to manage the challenges of the disease. Magnolia House offers vanguard programs and workshops, including 6-week classes for cancer survivors that address end-stage disease challenges, classes for cancer caregivers, cooking classes to develop a nutritional approach to cancer survival, and individually tailored experiences such as a one-on-one fitness training with a cancer-trained therapist. Tower also supports a variety of Southern California community partners who bring vital cancer programs to underserved populations throughout Los Angeles.
Gala tickets may be purchased at https://www.towercancer.org/2019-gala-ticket-page/ or by calling 310.299.8477.
Media RSVP and Talent Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT TOWER CANCER RESEARCH FOUNDATION: Tower has been the Southern California cancer patient's greatest ally since 1996. Tower provides grants for innovative research, caring patient support and community education to promote more effective treatments for cancer. As a leading independent, donor-directed community cancer research foundation, Tower is focused on funding Southern California initiatives with a global impact. Over the course of the last twenty years, Tower has raised well over $30 million -- resources that have funded specific groundbreaking research and patient support programs that are professionally vetted by committees comprised of local scientific and community leaders. In the last two decades, Tower has participated in over 200 clinical trials with thousands of patients and awarded almost $10 million in the last decade alone to dozens of physician scientists pursuing novel hypotheses, including over $3 million to talented young researchers through Career Development Grants. These young grantees often demonstrate such promising results that they later obtain large grants from other foundations and research institutions. Tower's initial $3 million investment has led to almost $40 million in additional clinical research funding. While there are many brilliant scientists performing cancer research, Tower recognizes the importance of nurturing the regional pool of rich research talent because important breakthroughs have come from unexpected directions and provided new perspectives. http://towercancer.org/
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SOURCE Tower Cancer Research Foundation