Moffitt’s Magnolia Ball Raises a Record-Breaking $2.6 Million

May 10, 2007

Tampa, FL – In an evening of high auction bids and major pledges, guests of the 2007 Magnolia Ball helped raise $2.6 million to benefit H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute. This amount is $1 million more than last year’s proceeds and is more than five times the amount raised two years ago, making the Magnolia Ball the first black-tie gala in the area to accomplish such a feat.

“What an exciting night this has been,” said Celia and Jim Ferman, event chairs of the 14th annual event. “I can’t imagine another group of supporters who are as wonderful as Moffitt’s are.”

Pam and Les Muma were the honorary chairs.

Perhaps the most anticipated event of the evening was the Rise to the Challenge. After the V Foundation pledged $400,000 and challenged the audience to match its gift, paddles waved in the air for more than 15 minutes. When it was all over, the audience had raised $1.7 million for a total of $2.1 million. In the live auction, Masonite International Corporation contributed $5,000 for each item that sold for its market price. Its $50,000 match brought the live auction total to $156,000. Items like a trip to Spain to run with bulls and a Bishon Frise puppy kept the bids high. Guests also bid on beach getaways and private dinners with chefs in the silent auction, which raised $56,000.

Proceeds from the ball will enhance Moffitt’s patient care, research and education programs. Furthermore, they will benefit the Magnolia Lodging Program. This program lessens the intense emotional and financial burdens that cancer patients often experience, by offering families a comfortable place to live while they are undergoing lengthy treatments at Moffitt – regardless of their ability to pay.

“The support and encouragement of our supporters are part of this generation’s contribution to humanity,” said Dr. William S. Dalton, president and CEO of Moffitt Cancer Center. “We are harnessing the explosion of knowledge from genetics and using it to tame an illness that has plagued mankind for centuries. With donor support, we are creating a future for ourselves, our children and grandchildren where cancer will be a treatable condition.”

Known for its live performances by top recording artists, this year’s Magnolia Ball featured Huey Lewis & The News, a heartwarming patient testimonial and a league of supporters.

About H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute

Located in Tampa, Florida on the University of South Florida campus, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute ( is the only Florida-based cancer center with the NCI designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center for its excellence in research and contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt currently has 15 affiliates in the state of Florida, one in Georgia and two in Puerto Rico. 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.