The American Cancer Society's 56th Annual Palm Beach Gala Throws a one two Punch to Finish the Fight

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PALM BEACH, Fla. - Feb. 25, 2014 - PRLog -- Supporters of the American Cancer Society joined together on Saturday, February 1 at the legendary Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach for the American Cancer Society’s 56th Annual Palm Beach Gala “The Main Event”  Co-Chaired by heavyweights Donald J. Trump, Patrick M. Park, Vince Cerone, and Thomas C. Quick. Also in the American Cancer Society’s corner were Vice Chairmen Leslie Spero and Bob Holuba, Honorary Chairman Petra Levin and Special Guest Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini.

Mar-a-Lago’s main ballroom dazzled in the red, white and blue theme and featured an authentic, competition-sized boxing ring that served as the stage for the band. The east-end alcove area provided ringside snacks, a photo booth, a punching bag game that tested the power of your punch and interactive Wii boxing game - all generating a competitive spirit amongst the guests.  The Main Event dance floor was surrounded by stunning dining tables showcased with boxing glove centerpieces – a tribute to those who are committed to finishing the fight against cancer.

During dinner, The Main Event Co-Chairmen Tom Quick, Patrick Park and Vince Cerone entered the ring to each thank this year’s corporate partners which included Allen West of Advanced Jets for hosting the VIP Champagne Receptionin Mar-a-Lago’s iconic Gold & White Ballroom, Braman Motorcars, who hosted the Pre-Gala Sponsors Party, Brioni who provided the men’s gift bags, Fantastic Finishes, and Tamara Comolli of Tamara Comolli Fine Jewelry who provided the live auction piece as well as the women’s gift bags.  The chairmen also made a point of thanking the countless individual sponsors of the 56th Annual American Cancer Society Gala.

The chairs then introduced World Boxing Champion Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini who held the WBA Lightweight Championship from 1982 to 1984. Said Mancini, “I have fought many fights, but none were as important as the fight against cancer.  We all know someone who has lost their fight and I am honored to be in this beautiful setting with a room full of such wonderful supporters who want to help finish the fight.”  Quoting the great coach John Wooden, Mancini added, “I have two sage words of advice for everyone in this room: Help others.”

Mancini’s star quality charisma and his thoughtful speech was the perfect segue to introduce Jupiter resident and cancer survivor Chris Collins, who spoke about her personal journey with cancer.  At 37 years old and without any family history or risk factors, Collins was diagnosed with breast cancer just five years ago. Collins was a recipient of Herceptin, a drug treatment which was discovered by an American Cancer Society funded researcher. Collins said “I am here to night to say ‘thank you.’  Today, I am healthy and happy to be alive. And I will be here to finish the fight because of your help; so, thank you.”

Ralph DeVitto, Executive Vice President of the Florida Division then informed the guests that “More than $500 million of American Cancer Society grants are in effect in cancer institutions throughout the country right now funding investigators in their quest to finish the fight against cancer, so that there will be more birthdays to celebrate.”

Bringing bling to the ring, Tamara Comolli Fine Jewelry donated a two-sided detachable pendant with 1.1 carats of pave diamonds on one side and 4.5 carats of Persian Turquoise on the reverse side for the live auction, conducted by auctioneer Tom Quick. Ray Mancini also donated a case of his Southpaw Wines and offered to autograph each bottle to the winning bidder, adding a personal touch to the live auction! The live auction preceded the Call to the Heart, where every patron making a donation received a bottle of Laurent Perrier Grand Siecle champagne donated by Petra and Stephen Levin.

Renowned pianist and singer, Adam Austin performed during the dinner and then the night really heated up with the legendary Heatwave band performing the room’s favorite tunes where patrons danced the night away.  The American Cancer Society was honored to have volunteers from local Northwood University and the University’s Women’s Volleyball Team.

Of the evening, Quick said, “Proceeds raised each year from our Gala directly support our mission to eliminate cancer as a major health problem through local community initiatives including: Road to Recovery, Reach to Recovery, and Look Good Feel Better programs. We also maintain the Cancer Resource Center in West Palm Beach for cancer patients, their caregivers and family members. Due to the generosity of our supporters, we are conquering this disease with a ‘knock - out punch.’”

In addition to the corporate partners, other sponsors included: Distinguished Humanitarian, The Addison Hines Charitable Trust; Platinum Benefactor, Mr. Patrick M. Park; Grand Benefactors – Mr. and Mrs. Marvin H. Davidson and Mr. Donald J. Trump; Grand Patrons – Mr. and Mrs. Vince Cerone and Mr. Thomas C. Quick; Leading Benefactors – Eddy and Helaine Cantor, The Rhoda and David Chase Family Foundation, Mrs. Harold Hassenfeld, Edward L. and Ruth S. Hennessy, Jr., JM Rubin Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Leslie Spero and Mr. and Mrs. Robert Tomsich; Benefactors – Mr. and Mrs. Harold J. Baxter, Mrs. Harold Bernstein, Dr. Elizabeth Bowden, Amos and Maria Dare, Mr. and Mrs. Peter Dupuis, Frances and Gerald Gilberg, Mrs. Robert Gordon, Mr. Bob Holuba and Ms. Susan Furman, Helene and Stanley Karp, Mr. and Mrs. John Rau, Isador S. Segall Trust – Mr. Barry and Dr. Meredith Snader, Dr. and Mrs. Irving J. Sherman, and Paula and Nikita Zukov; Patrons – Ms. Heather Collins Grattan, Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Haymes, Michele and Howard Kessler, Mrs. Herme’ de Wyman Miro and The International Society of Palm Beach, Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Myura, Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Reveley and Mr. and Mrs. Robert Wright; Invitation Sponsor – Mrs. Carol Jenkins-Jaeger; Champagne Sponsor – Stephen and Petra Levin.

For more information, about the Gala or how you can support the American Cancer Society, please contact Michelle Jaminet, Senior Executive Director of the American Cancer Society Island of Palm Beach Unit at 561.655.3449 or by emailing:

The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion and over a century of experience to save lives in its mission to end cancer for good. The organization saves lives by helping individuals stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early, and helping individuals get well by being there for them during and after a diagnosis, by finding cures through groundbreaking discovery, and fighting back through public policy.

To reach the national offices of The American Cancer Society day or night, call 1-800-227-2345 or visit

Photo Courtesy of Lucien Capehart Photography

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Linda Soper
Source:The American Cancer Society Island of Palm Beach
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