December 1st was an exciting night at San Mateo’s Peninsula Golf and Country Club. Though rain poured down, it didn’t dampen the spirit in the Club or the anticipation of GCF friends, families and associates who filled the halls to provide financial and emotional support in the fight against stomach cancer.
Thanks to sponsors like the Grogan family, Genentech, Capital Group Companies, Hamilton Point, Patricia Gallagher and Susie and Nick Simon, as well as numerous private and local businesses, the Gala raised more than $160,000 to support GCF’s work.
As guests scouted the fabulous silent auction items, there was a festive mood and some competitive bidding between people. GCF founder J.P. Gallagher and his son, David, greeted and thanked people as they arrived, making sure to personally speak with every attendee. As guests filed in for dinner, California State Senator Jerry Hill gave an emotional opening speech grounded in his personal experience with a friend’s stomach cancer.
Following Senator Hill, Wayne Feinstein, GCF board member and J.P. Gallagher also gave emotional speeches welcoming and thanking people. The dedication of the guests in the room was palpable as the live auction got underway and people bid on vacation packages, Giants box tickets and an individually prepared meal by GCF board member Hans Rueffert and his fellow Food Network Chef Michael Thomas. The highlight of the bidding process was young David Gallagher and his grandfather bidding on and winning a bat autographed by SF Giants champion team player, Buster Posey.
Throughout the evening, people’s generosity was obvious, but at no time was it more apparent than in the final 30 minutes of the Gala, when the GCF raised an additional $60,000 in direct cash contributions for gastric cancer research.
“We were honored by people’s generosity during the Gala,” said Wayne Feinstein. “We continue to raise money to support our current programs, but also look forward to launching an aggressive new research grant program. The goal is to award multi-year grants to the best researchers from leading institutions across the country to conduct innovative gastric cancer research.” Similar programs in focused research have produced major advances in other areas of cancer. This initiative is a critical next step towards a finding a cure for gastric cancer.
To all of the guests at the Gala who attended and/or contributed, thank you – this was our most successful gala to date! To all of our supporters who contribute emotionally, financially and/or physically, thank you all. We will cure stomach cancer.
SAVE THE DATE! The 5th Annual Gastric Cancer Foundation Gala will be held on Saturday, December 7, 2013.