Annual illumination Gala Raises $1.8 Million for Cancer Research  

Joyce Romine

Steven Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers perform April 20 at the illumination Gala.

April 23, 2013 – With a sold-out crowd topping 600 guests, The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital's annual illumination Gala raised nearly $1.8 million for cancer research at the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine. The event was held April 20 at the Ritz-Carlton in Clayton, Mo.

Community support for this year's gala was led by event co-chairs Ron Kruszewski, chairman, president and CEO of Stifel Financial Corp., and Craig Schnuck, chairman of the executive committee of Schnuck Markets Inc. ACW
Alliance and Stifel were presenting sponsors of the event, which included a cocktail reception, dinner, luxury auction, special videos and the musical entertainment of Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers.

"This event to support cancer research at Siteman is such a meaningful opportunity for each of us to make a difference for our future and our children's future," Kruszewski says. "Thanks to research, the progress being made in cancer treatments just in the last few years is phenomenal."

Schnuck agrees. "Siteman is leading the way to more personalized cancer treatments based on an individual's genes - and the Cancer Frontier Fund is playing a significant part in those advancements. It gives us all hope and I'm humbled to be part of it."

The illumination Gala supports The Foundation's Cancer Frontier Fund, which was created in 2009 to help Siteman researchers accelerate breakthroughs that will change cancer care and expedite cures.  In 2012, the Cancer Frontier Fund supported research to:

  • Improve treatments and outcomes for pancreatic, cervical, breast, blood cell and skin cancers
  • Develop a simple urine test to detect kidney cancer earlier
  • Develop a way to stimulate the immune system to destroy tumors

"As research support from the federal government is reduced, community support is more important than ever," says Timothy Eberlein, MD, Siteman director. "Philanthropic support is helping us speed the process of finding more effective, individualized treatments with fewer side effects, as we work to eliminate cancer completely in the future. It's an exciting time in cancer research."

"We're so appreciative to all those who attended and supported illumination to make it so successful," says Rich Liekweg, president of Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Barnes Jewish West County Hospital, and group president of BJC HealthCare. "Through the generosity of many, we're able to keep our foot on the accelerator of cancer research so more people can live healthier lives."