Fifth District AHEPA Cancer Research Foundation, Inc.
Edison, N.J.- November 1, 2008 marked the Nineteenth Annual Fall Gala for the Fifth District AHEPA Cancer Research Foundation, Inc. at the Pines Manor, Edison, New Jersey. The annual event is a festive conclusion to the yearʼs efforts of fundraising for cancer research as well as an evening of honoring the recipients of the Grant Research Awards, whose goals are to analyze cancer in hope of a better understanding of finding a cure for this atrocious disease.
Since the Fifth District AHEPA Cancer Research Foundationʼs humble beginnings in 1989, the funds raised for the “Grant Research Awards” has been achieved through canister collections, bowl-a-thons and direct mail campaigns. The Foundation has awarded $625,000 in the form of 38 Grant Research Awards to various institutions for cancer research in the states of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Grant Awards, by Chairman Andrew C. Zachariades and Grants Chairman Stathia Marousis to four institutions that specialize in cancer research.
This yearʼs recipients were the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ for their study on Pediatric Brain Tumors, by the research team of Dr. John Glod, Dr. Dimitris N. Metaxas and Dr. Debarta Banajee. Dr. Glod gladly accepted the $10,000 grant to continue the next phase of his study.
Childrenʼs Blood & Cancer Foundation/Weill Cornell Medical College, New York for their study on Tumor Metastasis Research by Dr. David Lyden and Dr. Marianna Papaspryridonos; they also received a $10,000 grant. The doctors were pleased to inform the attendees of the progress of their study and are working intensively towards completing and publishing their new findings.
St. Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital/Columbia University, New York also received a $10,000 grant for their study on Prostate Cancer by Dr. Scott M. Kahn, in collaboration with Drs. Nicholas Romas and William Rosner. Dr. Kahn extended his deep appreciation for the continued support of his study.
Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA for their study on the Origin of B Cell Chronic Lymphocyte Leukemia (Blood Cancer) Lori Gallagher, Corporate Relations Coordinator was elated to receive the $10,000 grant on behalf of the research team at Fox Chase Cancer Center.
The Axios Award, it is presented to an individual or individuals whose humanitarian purposes and endeavors contribute to finding a cure for cancer, unselfishly and devoutly in the name of mankind. This year the award was presented to Princeton, NJ resident, Dr. William N. Hait, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Head of Hematology and Oncology for Johnson & Johnson.
Due to Dr. Haitʼs busy work schedule, traveling abroad for medical conferences, Paula Hunchar, Executive Director of The Cancer Institute of New Jersey Foundation accepted the award on his behalf. In February of 2009 the Fifth District AHEPA Cancer Research Foundation will host a Cocktail Reception Fundraiser to officially present Dr. Hait with his award.
Prior to joining Johnson & Johnson, Dr. Hait was the founding Director of The Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology and Associate Dean for Oncology Programs at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School from January 1993 to March 2007. Under Dr. Haitʼs leadership, The Cancer Institute of New Jersey was successful in obtaining cancer center designation from the National Cancer Institute in 1996 and received the National Cancer Instituteʼs highest designation of Comprehensive Cancer Center in 2002.
The Foundationʼs first Humanitarian Award was presented to Brick Township resident Monica Vermeulen, Executive Director of The Ashley Lauren Foundation. A cancer survivor herself, Monica experienced first hand, the pain involved in having a child with cancer. Having lived through the unexpected hardships of pediatric cancer, she realized how important the need for support was during this difficult time. Her passion is to reach out with hope and help to other families that are coping with the same difficulties in New Jersey.
Gifts to the Foundation were presented from Canister Collections Chairman, Gus Christakos in the amount of $5000. Gus, a prostate cancer survivor, stressed the importance of cancer screening, stating that early detection of cancer saves lives. As well, Bowl for Cancer Chairman, Dino Genakos presented a check for $5,000. Collectively both programs have garnered approximately $400,000 since their inception.
The Board of Trustees consists of twenty-four members, who reside throughout the state of NJ, who are all volunteers, dedicated to the Foundation to raise funds for seed grants for the outstanding research doctors and institutions that are committed to finding a cure for cancer. Currently, the Foundationʼs website is under construction, for further information please send inquires to: Fifth District AHEPA Cancer Research Foundation, PO Box 481, Edison, NJ 08818-0481.