American Cancer Society Hope Gala to benefit kids with cancer

Mark Sunshine, Mark Seigel

Mark Sunshine, Mark Seigel

You can expect a gourmet dinner, live and silent auctions, entertainment and dancing, and the most elaborate and festive 100th birthday party you have ever seen at the South Palm Beach Chapter of the American Cancer Society Hope Gala. The Hope Gala will be held on Saturday, March 9, at Woodfield Country Club in Boca Raton at 6:30 p.m.

“We plan to celebrate in style but unlike most organizations that hope to be around for years, I want us to continue educating, fundraising, advocating and researching to the point that we can go out of business because cancer will be eliminated from the world,” said Jamie Lober, public relations chairman.

Proceeds from the event will go towards R.O.C.K. (Reaching Out to Cancer Kids) Camp. “This is a safe and positive opportunity for children with cancer to make friends with others who understand their journey and it gives them a chance to enjoy the adventures and thrills of camp while being able to be open and share their feelings,” Lober said.  Parents can feel comfortable knowing that there are medical professionals monitoring the kids around the clock, and best of all, the camp is right here in the Sunshine State.  Dollars raised also go toward research and services.

“One service I want to talk about is the Hope Lodge, a place where cancer patients and their families can stay for free when the most effective treatment may be in another city,” Lober explained.

By not being preoccupied on how they will pay for lodging, patients can focus on getting well. Patients stay in a private room or connect with others, and there are 31 locations across the country. The patient navigator program has also made a difference in a lot of people’s lives.

“You can call 1-800-227-2345 and speak one-on-one with a patient navigator at a cancer treatment center about your personal situation and the person will listen when you need him most,” Lober said.

ACS Committee

Angela Spera, Nikko Capria, Jamie Lober, Doreen Alrod, Mark Seigel, Mark Sunshine, Brenda Hilsberg, Elissa Spiro, Stacy Silbiger

While it may seem like the event has come together with no sweat, Lober said it was Gala Chairman Mark Sunshine, chairman and CEO of Veritas Financial Partners; and Co-Chairman Mark Seigel, CFO of Veritas Financial Partners, who made the event workable and within reach. Seigel and Sunshine have gone the extra mile to assist with fundraising, advocacy, education and publicity for the event, and Lober expects to see them involved for years to come.For American Cancer Society, volunteers and generous community members make functions like the Hope Gala happen.

“I have heard a saying before that you should never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world because indeed it is the only thing that ever has, and after seeing what we have been able to get done, I believe it is absolutely true,” Lober said.

Noting that involvement with the American Cancer Society is “hugely personal” to her, Lober asks that anyone who cares about pediatric health come out to the magnificent Hope Gala.  For information about tickets or sponsorships, contact Ellen Vaughan, unit executive director at 561-394-7751, ext. 5308, or ellen.vaughan@cancer.org.

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