On Monday, December 3rd, 2012 Gillette Stadium welcomed Boston sports fans and celebrities to the fifth annual New England Celebrities Tackle Cancer Gala benefiting Super Bowl Champion and cancer survivor, Joe Andruzzi’s and his Joe Andruzzi Foundation. The fundraising gala raised a record-breaking $500,000 for the foundation, which works to help families cover household expenses during cancer treatment, in addition to funding pediatric brain cancer research at Boston Children’s Hospital. Since 2008 the Joe Andruzzi Foundation has provided grants to over 400 families and over $300,000 to Dr. Mark Kieran at the Boston Children’s Hospital to help fund pediatric brain cancer research.
The emcee for the night was the former Patriot and 98.5 The Sports Hub Midday Host/Patriots Colour Analyst, Scott Zolak, and TV and radio personality, Billy Costa who ran the live auction. Amongst the sea of celebrities was New England Patriots owner, Robert Kraft ; Patriots player, Rob Ninkovich, Zoltan Mesko, Sebastian Vollmer, Nate Solder, Marcus Cannon, Steve Gregory, Kevin Faulk, Troy Brown, Sammy Morris and Matt Light; Boston Bruins forward, Milan Lucic; Comedian Lenny Clarke; Dropkick Murphy’s lead singer, Ken Casey.Drawing from Andruzzi’s own experience with cancer, the Foundation’s mission is to bring fun and humor to families during treatment while providing essential financial and emotional support. Keeping with the JAF mission, the gala embodied the new slogan; (UP) Beat Cancer, which honors the courage and tenacity of those with cancer. Lisa Scherber, Director of Patient and Family Programs at Dana-Farber/Children’s Hospital Cancer Center, was honored with the foundations first (UP) Beat Cancer award for her work with young cancer patients.Prior to the awards ceremony, the President of ILP Solutions,Inc., Lisa Marquette Porat of Millennium: Takeda Oncology Company and longtime JAF sponsor, presented the “Caring for the Caregiver”award while Dr. Peter Manley, Director of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Outcome Program at the Dana-Faber Cancer Institute, hosted a discussion on molecular advancements in the treatment of brain tumors. This past fall, Millennium donated $5 to the charity for each funny kid quote that was tweeted or posted by friends and followers during the Daily Dose Social Media Campaign. The Foundation premiered the compilation of quotes in the new book, Don’t Lick Your Friends! And Other Hilarious Insights from Kids, now available online. All the proceeds from the book will go towards JAF.
The cocktail hour provided guests with the opportunity to meet and mingle as well as place their bids on the silent auction goods. The whole evening proved to be a wonderful night filled with entertainment, discussion, and charitable giving thanks to the The Joe Andruzzi Foundation and their sponsors, Credit Union Kids at Heart; MVP Sponsors, Millennium:The Takeda Oncology Company and the Kraft Family/New England Patriots; and “Touchdown” sponsors, The Home Depot. CVS Caremark, and Easy Commerce Solutions Inc.