A challenge donation from the Bezos family at the 34th annual Hutch Holiday Gala boosted the Dec. 5 event’s fundraising total to $8.8 million for the Hutchinson Center.
“Help the Hutch,” the portion of the live auction during which guests raise their bid cards for specific contribution levels, brought in $7.9 million, including the Bezos’ matching funds, to be directed toward immunotherapy research.
Last month the Bezos family pledged $10 million to support immunotherapy research, which holds the potential to treat and cure many types of cancer, even in late stages. The family chose to structure the gift as a challenge in the hope that it will encourage others in the community to join the cause. The three-year challenge period kicked off at the Gala and will extend through Dec. 31, 2012.
Gala guests also bid on exclusive auction packages including a trip to the New York for the Tony Awards, $11,000; a trip to French Polynesia to view a total solar eclipse, $14,000; and an exclusive private tasting and dinner for 12 at Long Shadows and Corliss wineries in Walla Walla, $22,000.
The grand finale was the “Diamond Dash”—a raffle for a 30-second shopping spree at Alvin Goldfarb Jeweler’s store in downtown Seattle. Sue Hansen held the winning ticket and ran for a pair of diamond-and-peridot drop earrings valued at $3,800. Raffle ticket sales raised $30,600.
Held at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel and presented by the Grace Heffernan Arnold Guild and the Hutch Holiday Gala board of directors, the Hutch Holiday Gala featured live and silent auctions, an elegant dinner and entertainment with 700 in attendance. Since it was established, the Gala has raised more than $70 million in support of key research initiatives and patient programs at the Hutchinson Center.
To learn more, visit the Hutch Holiday Gala Web page at www.fhcrc.org/gala.