The Children’s Cancer & Blood Foundation (CCBF) hosted its annual Breakthrough Ball benefit gala last week on November 27th in the historic Plaza Hotel.
A stunning success, the extraordinary evening filled with humor and emotion highlighted medical successes and raised funds to provide much needed medication, chemotherapy and other life-saving treatments to children with cancer and blood disorders at the Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology of New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.
CCBF bestowed the prestigious Breakthrough Spirit Award to Ron Iervolino, Co-Chairman, Greenbacker Group LLC and Co-Chairman of the Children’s Cancer & Blood Foundation. Mr. Iervolino was recognized for his philanthropic work to raise funds and awareness for children’s cancer & blood diseases, his steadfast leadership of CCBF, and his advocacy for parents of children with cancer and blood disorders.
CCBF’s Chairman, Les Lieberman said, “I am overwhelmed by the support and the incredible turnout. Funds raised at this year’s event will help bring us even closer to a cure for these terrible diseases.” Willie Geist, Host of NBC’s “Sunday Today” and Co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” emceed the evening.
There was a hugely successful live auction featuring Super Bowl tickets complete with hotel stay and round-trip airfare, a Hamptons golf package with tee-offs at the most exclusive and highly rated courses, highly-coveted Jingle Ball tickets, and an all-inclusive, 5 night trip to Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic.
The magical evening concluded performances from Broadway stars Elizabeth Ward Land, Curvy Widow, Alex Newell, Once On This Island, Chilina Kennedy and Paul Anthony Stewart, Beautiful, Libby Cervais and Mariand Torres, Wicked.
The Children’s Cancer & Blood Foundation (CCBF), through its support of the Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology, has created a standard of excellence in the treatment of children with chronic, life-threatening blood disorders since 1952. CCBF is the oldest and largest charitable organization in the U.S. dedicated to the care of children with cancer and blood disorders. Over the years, CCBF has helped the Division grow into one of the most comprehensive programs of its kind.
To date, funds raised from this event have enabled CCBF to deliver state-of-the-art care to over 1,000 patients and continue to conduct groundbreaking research including:
- A miraculous discovery by Dr. David Lyden, who found that a simple blood test could determine if a child has cancer and if so, how it could metastasize. Based on this finding, Dr. Lyden is developing drug therapies that would potentially block the cancer from spreading.
- Dr. James Bussel’s development of an oral medication to replace the painful and invasive treatment that children with immune thrombocytopenia are accustomed to receiving.
- The innovative Child Life Program created by Courtney Czepiga, MS, CCLS, to help patients cope with the stresses of treatment, expel energy, and manage their pain.
- The Fertility Preservation Program, created by Dr. Jennifer Levine, to help patients proactively address fertility issues and take the necessary steps—at the time of their diagnosis and treatment—to help protect future fertility.