28th Annual Lombardi Gala to Benefit Cancer Research

Posted in News Release

WASHINGTON (Oct. 3, 2014) – The 28th Annual Lombardi Gala (new window), a celebration to benefit Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center (new window), will be held Saturday, Oct. 18, from 6 to 11:30 p.m. at the Washington Hilton.  

The black-tie dinner and dance features a cocktail reception and renowned silent auction, a raffle for a new 2015 Lexus IS 350 F Sport and the presentation of two awards to remarkable individuals for their contributions in the fight against cancer. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the Gala will go directly to Georgetown Lombardi for cancer research, education and treatment. The annual event has raised $21 million for Georgetown Lombardi since its inception.

This year’s awards recipients are ESPN SportsCenter anchor Stuart Scott, who will receive the annual NFL Players Association Georgetown Lombardi Award, and Samuel Foster Jr., who will receive the Margaret L. Hodges Leadership Award.

The NFL Players Association Georgetown Lombardi Award (new window) was established to honor a leader in the sports industry whose life and family have been touched by cancer, and who encourages cancer research, prevention and treatment through awareness and philanthropy. The connection between the NFL Players Association (new window) and Georgetown Lombardi has grown out of a shared connection to the legacy of legendary NFL coach Vince Lombardi, who was treated for cancer at Georgetown University Hospital before succumbing to the disease in 1970. Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center is named in his memory.

Scott was diagnosed with appendiceal cancer in 2007.

“Every day, I’m reminded that our life’s journey is really about the people who touch us,” Scott said during his acceptance speech (new window) for the Jimmy V Perseverance Award presented this summer at The ESPYS, an awards ceremony hosted by ESPN to honor the top names in sports.

Scott described a downturn in his cancer battle that landed him in the hospital for a week with liver complications, kidney failure and four surgeries. Despite his challenges, his mantra is living life to the fullest.

“When you die, that does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and the manner in which you live,” Scott said.

“Stuart captures the spirit of so many of our patients and has been an inspiration to those of us who are dealing with this insidious disease,” says Louis M. Weiner, MD, director of Georgetown Lombardi. “As a public figure, millions watch Stuart’s every move. I am sure he draws inspiration from their overwhelming support. But like everyone who deals with cancer on a daily basis, he is intensely aware of the most important parts of his life – his family and friends.”  When he speaks, he does so for all of us.”

DeMaurice F. Smith (new window), executive director of the NFL Players Association, is serving as the honorary chair of the Lombardi Gala for the fifth year.

“On behalf of the NFL Players Association, I congratulate Stuart on this award, and thank him for demonstrating such undeniable courage, perseverance and class in his seven-year fight against cancer,” Smith adds. Vince Lombardi II, Coach Lombardi’s grandson, will join Smith in presenting the award.

The 2014 Margaret L. Hodges Leadership Award will be presented to Samuel Foster Jr.

Foster is president and CEO of FosterSoft, Inc., a mission-oriented business focused on enterprise data management, systems engineering and business consulting and services.

The Margaret L. Hodges Leadership Award is named in honor of the Gala’s founder and is presented to an outstanding volunteer who has demonstrated sustained commitment to Georgetown Lombardi.

“It is impossible to overstate the importance of advocates such as Sam,” says Weiner. “As a long time member of the Gala’s corporate executive committee and as a sponsor, Sam has matched words with actions and been a tremendous supporter of Georgetown Lombardi. His contributions have made a difference.”

Also speaking at this year’s Gala is cancer survivor and honorary congressional chair Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Rogers is a bladder cancer survivor and determined advocate for cancer care on Capitol Hill. He founded the Cancer Care Working Group, which meets regularly to discuss substance and details of policy positions, regulatory actions or legislative initiatives affecting cancer care, patient treatment options, evidence-based medicine, chemotherapeutics and drug integrity. He introduced The National Pain Care Policy Act, which addresses barriers to patient care by improving research, provider education and training, and general public awareness about the treatment and management of acute and chronic pain. Recently, Rogers introduced the Medicare Cancer Patient Protection Act of 2013, which would establish payment parity under the Medicare program for ambulatory cancer care services furnished in the hospital outpatient department and physician office setting.

The 28th Annual Lombardi Gala is possible thanks to countless volunteers, many of whom have taken a leadership role in planning this annual event. In addition to honorary chair DeMaurice Smith, the Gala co-chairs are Brian Katz, Jill Kirkpatrick and Paul Schweitzer. Barbara Schaefer McDuffie of Baker Tilly and Mark O. Decker of BMO Capital Markets are corporate executive committee co-chairs. Molly Decker, Wendy Gagnon and Alexandra Senyi de Nagy-Unyom are auction co-chairs.

Corporate partners of the Gala include the Washington Area Lexus Dealers, the exclusive automotive sponsor, DIAGEO, beverage sponsor and premier philanthropists MedStar Health and the NFLPA.

About Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, part of Georgetown University Medical Center and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, seeks to improve the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of cancer through innovative basic and clinical research, patient care, community education and outreach, and the training of cancer specialists of the future. Georgetown Lombardi is one of only 41 comprehensive cancer centers in the nation, as designated by the National Cancer Institute, and the only one in the Washington, DC, area. For more information, go to http://lombardi.georgetown.edu (new window).

About Georgetown University Medical Center
Georgetown University Medical Center is an internationally recognized academic medical center with a three-part mission of research, teaching and patient care (through MedStar Health). GUMC’s mission is carried out with a strong emphasis on public service and a dedication to the Catholic, Jesuit principle of cura personalis — or “care of the whole person.” The Medical Center includes the School of Medicine and the School of Nursing & Health Studies, both nationally ranked; Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute; and the Biomedical Graduate Research Organization (BGRO), which accounts for the majority of externally funded research at GUMC including a Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health.