Karmanos Cancer Institute’s 24th Annual Partners Night continues to drive the future of cancer research

DETROIT, Dec. 11, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — When dedicated community members, including those touched by cancer, come together to support cancer research at Karmanos, it’s another way of describing the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute’s Partners Events. More than 300 champions supported this year’s exciting Partners Night at the M1 Concourse in Pontiac, Mich., on Oct. 28. The unique event generated nearly $500,000 to support the purchase of a Micro-PET/CT device, research technology critical for the evaluation of imaging approaches to assess cancer risk, detect cancer, help develop new drugs, guide treatment and monitor therapies.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/b1d2b78b-8e75-478a-b5fb-04fb91ee2937

Karmanos Cancer Institute’s Partners Committee, a group of young professionals, have worked tirelessly to raise awareness and philanthropic dollars to support the cancer research program at Karmanos through The Partners Events. Since its inception 24 years ago, the Partners Events have raised more than $16 million to benefit Karmanos’ outstanding cancer research program, benefitting cancer patients here in Michigan and across the globe.

“I’m honored to serve as the chair of the Partners Executive Committee and make a difference in the lives of cancer patients by raising funds to support cancer research at Karmanos,” said Thomas Alongi.

“Serving on the Partners Committee is a wonderful way to take part in something bigger than all of us – the future of cancer care. I can’t think of a better way to drive progress to help rid this disease that, at one time or another, will impact someone we love. I invite others to join the Partners Committee. Not only will you have fun and engage with others for a great cause, you’ll be helping to advance cancer research that will ultimately save lives.”

The Partners Events continue to drive the future of cancer research, supporting Karmanos’ world-renowned scientists conducting ground-breaking research, which helps lead to new and advanced treatment options and supportive post-treatment care for cancer survivors.

“We are grateful to all our generous sponsors and guests for their outstanding support of this year’s Partners Night,” said Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO, Karmanos Cancer Institute. “Many of you have helped raise critical funds for our cancer research program for several years. We are truly appreciative for your continued support and welcome others who are new to our Partners Events.

“I also want to recognize Eunice and Milt Ring and their family for carrying out the vision of Harry and Anna Korman who established Partners in memory of their daughter Suzanne, Eunice’s sister, who passed away of cancer at age 36. Partners Events continue the Kormans’ legacy, raising funds to support cancer research that can lead to the eradication of this devastating disease.”    

Through the years, Partners Events have raised funding for the establishment of the Dr. Vainutis K. Vaitkevicius (Dr. Vee) Endowed Chair in Cancer Research, which helped Karmanos grow its clinical practice. Partners Events have also supported the development of research and correlating supportive post-treatment care for cancer patients; helped Karmanos attract and recruit highly-accomplished cancer scientists to its major research areas; and supported the relocation and expansion of Karmanos’ world-renowned Phase I Clinical Trials program.

This year’s event celebrated the accomplishments of Karmanos researchers whose work has benefitted directly from funds raised at Partners Events. Several attended this year’s event to express their gratitude and provide updates about their work. They included, from Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University School of Medicine: Anthony Shields, M.D., Ph.D.; Larry Matherly, Ph.D.; Hayley Thompson, Ph.D.; and Amy Weise, D.O.

Partners’ Night at the M1 Concourse was exciting, inspiring and educational. Introduced during the program were David Long, stage 4 melanoma survivor, and his wife Bridget who shared their journey with this challenging disease. After his standard treatment was no longer effective, Long became a patient of Amy Weise, D.O., medical oncologist at Karmanos Cancer institute. Within the last two years, Long participated in two Phase I clinical trials and is currently on a new FDA-approved drug and is reacting well to the treatment. A brief video highlighting Long’s story stressed the importance of funding cancer research that enables Karmanos to provide more new therapy options to cancer patients.

This year’s Partners Night included a strolling cocktail reception and dinner, entertainment by jazz vocalist Olivia Ray, a brief program followed by a dessert afterglow and dancing until midnight with DJ Captn20. Several guests took part in race car thrill rides with professional drivers around the M1 track and had their photo taken with one of the race cars, a Dodge Viper or a Dodge Hellcat. A pair of his and hers Shinola watches, presented by Tappers Fine Jewelry, were raffled off, and enticing silent auction packages brought in additional funds to support Karmanos’ cancer research program.

“We’re grateful for the dedication of Tom Alongi, the Partners Committee, and this year’s wonderful sponsors for their support of Partners Night,” said Katrina Studvent, MSW, chief development officer, Karmanos Cancer Institute.

“No one can achieve success without the help of many. And, it will take all of us to help advance ground-breaking research so that more people survive this disease. We appreciate everyone’s ongoing support.”

2017 Partners Sponsors
Entertainment Sponsor is M1 Concourse. Platinum Sponsors included: The Hermelin Family Support Foundation; Danialle and Peter Karmanos, Jr.; Kenwal Steel Corp; Mohammad and Farhat Qazi; and Quicken Loans. Gold Sponsor was Magna. Silver Sponsors included: Comerica Incorporated; Five Brothers Mortgage Company; Lear Corporation; McLaren Health Care; and Taubman.

Media Sponsors were: Television Sponsor, FOX Sports Detroit; Magazine Sponsors, Hour Detroit and DBusiness Magazines; and Radio Sponsor, News/Talk 760 WJR.

2017 Partners Committee
Executive Chair is Tom Alongi. Partners Committee Members include: Sunny Connolly, KC Crain, Brian Eisenberg, Scott Faulkner, Jason Geisz, Brenda Guinan Huddy, Niki Johnson, Cheryl Luckoff, Howard Luckoff, Sarah Mally, Brett Schneider and David Thewes.

How Partners Started
Karmanos Cancer Institute long-time supporters Anna and Harry Korman had the vision to begin Partners in memory of their late daughter Suzanne who died of cancer at the age of 36. The Kormans established the committee as a way to engage young people in raising money for cancer research, knowing that research would lead to advancements in treatment options and early detection methods.

The Kormans’ daughter and son-in-law Eunice and Milton Ring and other family members continue the Kormans’ legacy along with the Partners Committee which has been hosting the Partners Events now for 24 years. The Partners are united in the fight against cancer and are dedicated to solely raising funds for research at Karmanos Cancer Institute, now part of McLaren Health Care, through the annual signature fundraisers known as The Partners Events. 

For more information on ways to support Karmanos through sponsorships, fundraising opportunities, participating in Open Door Tours or to be part of the Partners Committee, call 313-576-8106, email kearneym@karmanos.org or visit www.karmanos.org/partners.

About the Partners
The Partners are a group of hardworking, “hands-on” volunteers who pool their ideas and resources and join together for the sole purpose of raising funds for the Karmanos Cancer Institute. Many of these dedicated volunteers are motivated by their own personal struggles or those of loved ones battling this disease. The Partners are dedicated to making sure that other families who are faced with this illness always have a place to turn where they will receive the ultimate in patient care, education and treatment. For more information, go to http://www.karmanos.org/partners.

This marks the 24th year that the Partners Committee has given their time, talent and resources to raise awareness and engage the community to help support Karmanos Cancer Institute through the Partners Events. Since the committee began, the Partners Events have raised more than $16 million to help advance cancer research.     

About the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Karmanos Cancer Institute is headquartered in Detroit, with 14 locations throughout Michigan. As part of McLaren, Karmanos is the largest cancer care and research network in the state. It is among the nation’s best cancer centers as one of the National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the United States and the only one located in metro Detroit. Karmanos cancer experts focus solely on cancer to prevent, detect and treat as well as eradicate all forms of cancer. Its long-term partnership with the Wayne State University School of Medicine enhances the collaboration of critical research and academics related to cancer care. For more information, call 1-800-KARMANOS (800-527-6266) or visit www.karmanos.org. Follow Karmanos on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

MEDIA CONTACT: Patricia A. Ellis, 313-576-8629

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