Moffitt’s annual fundraiser nets $1.6 million

May 03, 2006

Tampa, FL - H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute raised $1.6 million at the annual Magnolia Ball held Saturday night at the A La Carte Pavilion in Tampa. Rock duo Hall & Oates were the headliners of the evening.

“The night was unforgettable,” said Larry Feder, Vice President of the Moffitt Foundation. “The generosity displayed by businesses and patrons throughout the Bay area truly was heartwarming. The Foundation salutes all those involved who helped make the evening a success.”

The black tie event began with a silent auction which included items for the home, vacation getaways, sports memorabilia and dining packages. Live auction items included an 8-week-old Wheaten Terrier puppy, two seven-day and seven-night tours of Spain with Richard and Melanie Gonzmart, fourth generation owners of the Columbia restaurant in Ybor City, and an 18k yellow gold necklace from Tiffany & Co.

The highlight of the evening took place when Leslie and Pamela Muma, local community volunteers and philanthropists, took the stage and spoke about their passion for Moffitt and finding a cure for cancer. The couple then challenged the audience with a match gift of $250,000. In no time the audience raised $575,000 over the match.

“We are so grateful for the generosity and commitment of so many to the cancer center’s mission,” said Dr. Dalton, CEO and Center Director. “It is through this level of support, that we continue to make great strides in research that will lead to the most effective and innovative approaches to addressing cancer in Florida and beyond.”

Other revenue generators included a sealed bid auction with items such as a tour of the White House press room, the Capital and the Senate Gallery with Sam Donaldson, Veteran ABC News Correspondent and Moffitt’s Board of Advisors chairman, and three chances to win plasma TV screens.

Proceeds from the 13th annual Magnolia Ball will benefit research, patient care, education and the Magnolia Lodging Program.

Last year’s Magnolia Ball was the No. 1 fundraiser in the Bay area, raising $500,000.

In 2001, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute earned NCI Comprehensive Cancer Center status in recognition of its excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Additionally, Moffitt is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, a prestigious alliance of the country’s leading cancer centers, and is listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s Best Hospitals for cancer. Moffitt’s sole mission is to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer.