By Jonesa Rodriguez - June 01, 2022
Moffitt Cancer Center’s 27th annual Magnolia Ball returned in person May 21 after a two-year hiatus. The sold-out event, held in the ballroom of the JW Marriott Tampa Water Street, gathered 750 of the cancer center’s most elite supporters for one cause: to raise funds for innovative cancer research and treatment.
Keeping up with a Magnolia Ball tradition, donors met Jarryd Reid, a former teacher and cancer survivor who at the age of 31 was diagnosed with stage 4 mantle cell lymphoma, a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that affects the lymphatic system. Joined by his family, Reid took the stage to show his appreciation to Moffitt for saving his life and also thanked donors for their continuous support, which he says contributed to his success.
Since 1994, the Magnolia Ball, the cancer center’s signature event, has raised millions for Moffitt’s cancer-fighting efforts to help patients like Reid. And this year’s event was no different, raising $3.2 million thanks to generous supporters like Tom and Cheri Flood, Tom and Sandy Rouse, Mark Ricks and Pamela Wright.
“The success of the Magnolia Ball is largely due to the tremendous support we continue to receive from our generous donors,” said Maria Muller, president of Moffitt’s Foundation. “This isn’t just another fundraising event, it is truly a party with a purpose. The funding from the ball ultimately advances the standard of care for all individuals and families who face cancer now and in the future.”
Guests at the black-tie event, which was hosted by ABC Action News anchor Deiah Riley and chaired by Chris and Sandi Sullivan, were entertained by a live performance by The ReMissions, a band made up of Moffitt team members, including CEO Patrick Hwu, M.D. The party didn’t stop there as Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo also hit the stage and sang some of their classic hits.
The event featured cocktails, dinner, silent auctions and dancing all night at the ’80s-themed after-party.
“I am truly thankful for all our wonderful Moffitt supporters who came out and celebrated with us during this year’s ball,” said Muller. “We were thrilled that we were able to gather in person and catch up with old friends, all for a good cause.”
And while this year’s Magnolia Ball may have just wrapped up, Moffitt’s Foundation team is already planning for next year’s event, which will be held on May 6.