SEATTLE — Dec. 9, 2010 — Guests at the 35th anniversary Hutch Holiday Gala on Saturday donated more than $5.6 million for research at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
During a segment of the live auction, called “Help the Hutch,” members of the Bezos family encouraged guests to close a $10 million challenge gift—first announced at the 2009 Gala—to fund the Hutchinson Center’s Immunotherapy Initiative. Guests completed the challenge goal.
Hutchinson Center scientists believe immunotherapy research may open the door to the final stage in the war on cancer by amplifying the human immune system to fight disease.
An impressive array of silent and live auction items also drew lively bidding. A 2011 Acadia Denali SUV raised $50,000; a culinary tour of Spain brought in $20,000; and a Rome Fashion Week trip raised $15,000. In addition, a "Cars of the Stars" tour, including private jet, tour and meet/greet of comedian Jay Leno's private car collection, sold for $70,000 at $7,000 per person.
Comedian Kevin Nealon of “Saturday Night Live” fame served as celebrity emcee of the black tie event, held Dec. 4 at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel.
With the new infusion of dollars, the Hutchinson Center will be poised to advance and broaden the field of immunotherapy—an outgrowth of the Center’s Nobel Prize-winning work on bone marrow transplantation—so that it has the same impact on solid-tumor cancers that bone marrow transplantation has had on leukemia, the first example of the power of the human immune system to cure cancer.
In its 35-year history, the Hutch Holiday Gala has raised more than $75 million in support of research at the Hutchinson Center. 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 live entertainment with more than 800 business and community leaders in attendance. For more information or to make a contribution call the Hutchinson Center at 206-667-5492 or visit www.fhcrc.org/gala.
Christi Ball Loso
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center