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Home » Charity, Column

Gala, auction raise $4.8 million for The Hutch

By Keegan Prosser on January 3, 2013 – No Comment

Cheryl Berenson and Dottie Thomas (widow of Dr. E. Donnall Thomas, who died in October). Phototainment

BY ROSE DENNIS

The 37th Annual Fred Hutch Gala on Dec. 1 raised an amazing $4.8 million for research in new treatments in both bone marrow and T-cell transplantations.

Hosted by the Grace Heffernan Arnold Guild and the Hutch Holiday Gala Board of Directors, the gala featured live and silent auctions, an elegant dinner in the beautifully decorated ballroom of the Seattle Sheraton Hotel and entertainment with more than 700 business and community leaders in attendance.

There were only 15 live auction items which included a private dinner for 10 at the Canlis Family’s Whidbey Island Retreat; a 10-day VIP experience for two in Madrid, Spain; and seven nights for two in exotic Dubai.

This year the silent auction included a new “Fund-A-Lab” section, offering patrons the opportunity to purchase and donate specific pieces of equipment – such as a mini-centrifuge – directly to research laboratories of Fred Hutch scientists.

A large portion of the live auction funds was generously matched at $1.5 million, dollar for dollar, by The David and Patricia Giuliani Family Foundation in support of Fred Hutch immunotherapy pioneer Dr. Oliver Press and colleagues to combine a series of highly promising innovations for safer and more effective T-cell therapy for lymphomas.

A memorial tribute was also presented in honor of the late Dr. E. Donnall Thomas, a Nobel Prize laureate and the father of bone marrow transplantation, who for 30 years touched the lives of one million patients worldwide. Fred Hutch’s pioneering work in bone marrow transplantation has led to the development of immunotherapy, which harnesses the power of the immune system to treat cancer with minimal side effects.

Rose Dennis writes about events in Bellevue and the Greater Seattle area. She lives in Bellevue.