2011 Lombardi Gala
The 25th Anniversary Lombardi Gala
It was a silver lining affair as the Georgetown Lombardi Gala celebrated 25 years of coming together to support the fight against cancer. Through the devotion of generous donors, corporate sponsors, and giving guests, the annual gala benefits Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, which has been providing remarkable care since 1970.
Mr. Thomas J. Donohue and Mrs. Elizabeth Donohue accepted the Margaret L. Hodges Leadership Award for their continued excellence in community outreach and support. The Donohues’ lifelong dedication of helping those in need by contributing their time, resources, and energy to numerous charitable endeavors makes them true embodiments of the Hodges Leadership Award.
DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the NFL Players’ Association was the gala’s Honorary Chair. Smith shared his own personal experiences with cancer -- his wife of 18 years and many of his NFL brethren who have waged war against cancer—while reminding guests that humor and positivity are critical components in care.
The Gala’s co-chairs were Marc DeLuca of Clarion Partners, Brian Katz of American Real Estate Partners, Barry Scher of Motley Scher Truitt, and Paul Schweitzer of Studley, Inc.
Howard J. Federoff, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Vice President for Health Sciences at Georgetown University Medical Center, spoke about the universal impact of cancer. “Each of us has a family member, friend or colleague who has fought this disease. And, it is expected that more than 1.5 million Americans will be diagnosed with a form of cancer this year,” he said. "With this stunning figure comes the reassurance of hope and the importance of events such as the Georgetown Lombardi Gala in promising a future free of cancer," he added.
Vincent T. Lombardi, iconic football coach and cancer patient, demanded dedication and hard work on and off the field. His famous quote: “I will demand a commitment to excellence and to victory and that is what life is all about,” still resonates at Georgetown Lombardi decades after the coach inspired so many.
Georgetown Lombardi Director Louis M. Weiner, M.D., stressed that the fight against cancer, “still remains a blight that continues to outsmart our best efforts to defeat it,” he said. “Yet this disease is not alone in strength or power. We have a secret weapon, he said, it is the army of patients, survivors, family members and fierce advocates who believe in and support the work we are doing.” Dr. Weiner captured the tension but adamant resolve, “I look forward to the day when I can stand in front of you and say: ‘We did it. We’ve cured cancer.’”
The evening was a resounding success with over 900 guests in attendance and nearly $900,000 raised towards curing cancer. Corporate partners for the 2011 Lombardi Gala included, American Airlines, Lexus Washington Area Dealers, Diageo, and premier philanthropists, The DeLuca Family, Gibson Dunn, Integral PET, MedStar Health, The Potter Family Grandchildren, and Sodexo.
By Katherine Brazauskas, GUMC Communications
(Published November 21, 2011)