Gala attracts record $1.6 million in community support for cancer research and patient care

Special appeal raises $530,000 to improve breast cancer treatment outcomes

May 08, 2014

Community and business leaders attending the UCI Health gala, “Healers & Heroes,” on April 26 proved to be the evening’s heroes, donating more than $530,000 in only 15 minutes for an intraoperative radiation therapy device that has the potential to dramatically reduce breast cancer treatment and recovery times for many patients.

Including this special appeal, sponsors and guests generated a record $1.6 million in gala proceeds to support cancer research and patient care at the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, which is part of UCI Health. More than 500 people attended the celebration of healers and heroes associated with Orange County’s only comprehensive cancer center, held at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa in Anaheim.

“UCI Health is fortunate to belong to a community that is dedicated to making advanced care for the most challenging and complex medical conditions available to all patients,” said Terry A. Belmont, CEO of UC Irvine Medical Center. “The overwhelming generosity of this year’s gala attendees will go a long way toward changing what it means to be diagnosed with cancer in Orange County.”

UCI Health CEO Terry Belmont presents the leadership award to philanthropist Michael Hayde at the 2014 UCI Health gala, Healers & Heroes.

Belmont, the event’s host, presented the UCI Health CEO Leadership Award to Western National Group CEO Michael K. Hayde for his philanthropic support of pioneering cancer research and patient care.

Jeralyn Glass, a longtime Hayde friend and internationally recognized soprano, performed a musical tribute to the honoree.

Guests closed the evening with dancing to the music of JT & Friends – the band formed by UC Irvine philanthropist and drummer John Tu, co-founder of Kingston Technology.

The intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) device funded by the community will make the UCI Health the first cancer center in California to offer the Margin Probe intraoperative assessment tool in combination with IORT for the treatment of breast cancer. Margin Probe provides data on tissue surrounding a tumor to help a surgeon immediately assess whether all cancer cells were removed during surgery, with the goal of reducing the need for subsequent surgeries. The new IORT device will deliver radiation during surgery in a single, concentrated dose, often as an alternative to longer courses of post-surgery radiation.

Jeff and Nancy Stack and David and Sandy Stone served as honorary co-chairs of the critically and financially successful gala. Major sponsors included Abbott Medical Optics, Arbonne International LLC, Allen and Lee Chao, Richard and June Chao, the Hsia family, and Mary and John Tu.

Nancy Everhart

UCI Health comprises the clinical, medical education and research enterprises of the University of California, Irvine. Patients can access UCI Health at physician offices throughout Orange County and at its main campus, UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, Calif., a 412-bed acute care hospital that provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, behavioral health services and rehabilitation. U.S. News & World Report has listed it among America’s Best Hospitals for 13 consecutive years. UC Irvine Medical Center is home to Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program, Level I trauma center and Level II pediatric trauma center, and is the primary teaching hospital for UC Irvine School of Medicine. UCI Health serves a region of more than 3 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.