“We are going to cure cancer; I’m absolutely convinced it’s on the horizon,” said Bob Simpson, the CEO of LeeSar and a cancer survivor who co-chaired the anniversary event with his wife, Linda. “When it happens, it will be a direct result of people like those in our community who supported this great event with sponsorships, volunteer work, attendance at the gala and contribution of their money. The people of Lee County are clearly committed to the fight against cancer, and we’re grateful for their sacrifice.” The event was held January 19 at Harborside Event Center.
With an attendance of 530, 120 more than last year, the Western-themed gala roped in more than $40,000 in an exciting live auction, led by volunteer auctioneer Rick Gallo, that included a two-year lease on a Chevy Camaro and a private in-home dinner for eight from Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. A custom guitar by Scream Guitars brought in the highest auction bid at $5,000. Another $50,000 was donated in response to a “Finish the Fight” cash call challenge. Attendees were moved to contribute after watching an emotional music video celebrating survivorship that was made by One Night Rodeo, the award-winning country band that has provided the gala’s entertainment for the past three years.
A portion of the money raised at the event will fund services for adults and children conquering cancer in Lee County, with additional proceeds going toward research to eliminate the disease and educational programs for those recently diagnosed.
The event, titled “Starry Nights Under a Southwest Florida Sky,” also featured cowboy-themed games, a silent auction, and a gourmet meal and luscious desserts by sponsors Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Norman Love Confections. Premiere Oncology was the presenting sponsor and LeeSar, a leader in health care supply chain management, committed $25,000. Other sponsors who helped make the event a success were John and Mary Jo Boler, Med Assets, Suncoast Beverage Sales, Scanlon Automotive, Enterprise Holdings, Wells Fargo, VIP Realty, Paces Medequipment, Medtronic, McKesson, Lee Memorial Health Systems, Clive Daniel Home, Jason’s Deli, Harborside Event Center, C.R. Bard, Inc. Kimberly Clark, Haskell, Cheney Brothers, Boston Scientific, Century Link, American Contract Systems and Abbott Laboratories. Florida Weekly, NBC-2 and Gulfshore Life magazine were the media sponsors. The beverage sponsors were Jim Beam and Gruppo Mezzacorona.
Planning will begin soon for the 2014 event. To volunteer, or learn more about the Cattle Barons’ Ball and the American Cancer Society, contact Beth Hayes at firstname.lastname@example.org or (239) 936-1113 ext. 3909.